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USDA to Name Beth Johnson as Acting Under Secretary of Food Safety

Friday, September 26, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ed Schafer welcomed the President’s intention to designate Elizabeth (Beth) Johnson as Acting Under Secretary of Food Safety. Johnson will be replacing current Under Secretary Dr. Richard A. Raymond, who is retiring on October 1 after overseeing the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) since July 2005.


“Food safety is the meat industry’s number one priority and we are confident that the President has placed this job in very capable hands,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.  “Beth is a person who understands both the food industry, and the vital role food safety plays in strong public confidence in our products,” he said.

Johnson is a registered dietician who joined USDA in 2002 after spending more than a decade advising government and the private sector on nutrition, farm credit and livestock. She has worked for the Food and Drug Administration as a nutritionist and as a research dietitian at the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Most recently, Johnson served as Chief Assistant to Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner and Deputy Chief of Staff.


Boyle also commended Raymond for his public service and thanked him for his food safety oversight while at USDA.  “Dr. Raymond is a devoted public servant with a constant focus on improving public health.  We appreciate his efforts to improve the meat and poultry inspection system during his tenure at USDA,” said Boyle.

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