Obama: Food-safety system a 'hazard'

Announces Margaret Hamburg as selection for leader of FDA

March 15, 2009
by Darlene Superville
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The nation's food-safety system is a "hazard to public health" and overdue for an overhaul, President Barack Obama said Saturday as he filled the top job at the Food and Drug Administration.

Obama used his weekly radio and video address to announce the nomination of former New York City Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg as agency commissioner and the selection of Baltimore's health commissioner, Joshua Sharfstein as her deputy. Consumer groups applauded the picks.

The Trust for America's Health said Hamburg is a proven manager who turned around the ailing health department in New York City.

"She restored both morale among workers and the agency's credibility among citizens," said Lowell Weicker Jr., a former Connecticut senator and president of the trust's board. "And she has shown she can reach across party lines, having worked for both Democratic and Republican mayors in New York City."


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