Michael R. Taylor was named deputy commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2010. He is the first individual to hold the position, which was created along with a new Office of Foods in August 2009.
Mr. Taylor is leading FDA efforts to
- develop and carry out a prevention-based strategy for food safety
- plan for new food safety legislation
- ensure that food labels contain clear and accurate information on nutrition
"I am fully committed to working with my FDA colleagues to make the changes necessary to ensure the safety of America’s food supply from farm to table," said Mr. Taylor.
"We look forward to working in new ways within FDA and with partners in other government agencies, the consumer community, and the food industry to tackle the important challenges – and the unprecedented opportunities – we currently face."
Mr. Taylor received his law degree from the University of Virginia and his B.A. degree in political science from Davidson College.
A nationally recognized food safety expert, Mr. Taylor has served in numerous high-level positions at FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as a research professor in the academic community, and on several National Academy of Sciences expert committees studying food-related issues.
Before returning to FDA in July 2009 as senior advisor to the commissioner, Mr. Taylor served as research professor, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University. His research agenda focused on policy, resource, and institutional issues that affect the success of public health agencies in carrying out their prevention-related missions.
Mr. Taylor served as administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and acting under secretary for food safety at USDA. He spearheaded public health-oriented reform of FSIS, guided the development of new safety requirements for meat and poultry products, and addressed the hazard associated with E. coli O157:H7 in beef products.
Mr. Taylor began his career as a staff attorney at FDA, holding various positions including deputy commissioner for policy. He was involved in issuing regulations to address seafood safety and in carrying out nutrition labeling requirements.
Other positions held by Mr. Taylor include senior fellow, Resources for the Future; professor, School of Medicine, University of Maryland; partner, King & Spalding law firm; and vice president for public policy, Monsanto Company.