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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

UPDATED – Elisabeth Hagen MD to be New Undersecretary of USDA/FSIS for Food Safety

So the rumor mill that is Washington DC is saying.  AND IT WAS RIGHT.

And, rumors seem to even leak all the way out to this other Washington. The position of Undersecretary of Agriculture has been vacant since Dr. Richard Raymond retired in October of 2008. It appears that Dr. Hagen will fill the position. I do not know Dr. Hagen well, but I did find this blog post by Dr. Raymond:

…. searching through the FSIS personnel pages, I did discover that Elisabeth Hagen, MD, is listed as the new Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Hagen holds a degree from Harvard Medical School, is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease, and before joining FSIS had a medical practice in DC.

The blog could end here, but then those of you who have not heard of Dr Hagen would not know that she was already on board at FSIS, serving as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Public Health Science, and already had easy and frequent access to the Undersecretary. I remember Elisabeth as a leader on the recall team, always pushing hard to protect the public and never backing off for fear of a legal action. Dr. Hagen was also utilized as an excellent communicator in the public arena, articulate and easily understood. This is a very nice promotion and recognition of a very deserving and committed public health servant.

Given that there have been many rumors around, and several short lists of people for the position, I am hopeful that this pick works. Dr. Hagen, there are a lot of people in industry, consumer groups and folks in and out of government who will be there to help. It is a very big job.  All you need to do is ask.