Washington, D.C.—On January 25, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Elisabeth Hagen, M.D., as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Food Safety, a post that has remained vacant for over a year. Hagen would serve with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

In a USDA press release Vilsack stated, “There is no more fundamental function of government than protecting consumers from harm, which is why food safety is one of USDA’s top priorities. We can and must do a better job of ensuring the safety of meat and poultry products regulated by USDA, and Dr. Hagen brings the background, skills and vision to lead USDA’s efforts to make sure that Americans have access to a safe and healthy food supply.”

Hagen is currently the USDA’s chief medical officer, serving as an advisor to USDA mission areas on a range of human health issues. Prior to her current position, she was a senior executive at the Food Safety and Inspection Service, where she was involved in developing and implementing the agency’s scientific and public health agendas.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2010