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FDA NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2009

Media Inquiries: George Strait, 301-796-4829; george.strait@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

Noted Food Safety Expert Michael R. Taylor Named Advisor to FDA Commissioner

Michael R. Taylor, J.D., a nationally recognized food safety expert and research professor at George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services, will return to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to serve as senior advisor to the commissioner.

“I am pleased to welcome Mike Taylor back to the FDA,” Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., said in announcing Taylor’s appointment. “His expertise and leadership on food safety issues will help the agency to develop and implement the prevention based strategy we need to ensure the safety of the food we eat.”

Commissioner Hamburg said that Taylor would work closely and collaboratively with her office and with the management of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine, the Office of Regulatory Affairs, Congress, and with members of the Obama Administration.

Specifically, Taylor will work to:

  • Assess current food program challenges and opportunities
  • Identify capacity needs and regulatory priorities
  • Develop plans for allocating fiscal year 2010 resources
  • Develop the FDA’s budget request for fiscal year 2011
  • Plan implementation of new food safety legislation.

“I am honored and grateful that Commissioner Hamburg has asked me to return to the FDA in the position of Senior Advisor to the Commissioner,” Taylor said. “I am looking forward to working with her, Principal Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein, and all of the FDA’s dedicated and talented people.”

Taylor has had a long and distinguished career in public service. He began at the FDA in 1976 as a litigating attorney. He served as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy from 1991 to 1994, overseeing FDA's policy development and rulemaking, including the implementation of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act and issuance of new seafood safety rules.

From 1994 to 1996, he served at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety. During that time, he spearheaded public health-oriented reform of the FSIS. Since 2000, Taylor has worked in academic and research settings on the challenges facing the nation’s food safety system and ways to address them.

Taylor’s recent research agenda has focused on policy, resource, and institutional issues that affect the success of public health agencies in carrying out their prevention-related missions. He served as chair of the steering committee of the Food Safety Research Consortium, collaboration among six universities and a nonprofit think tank to improve food safety decision making and priority setting.

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