WASHINGTON – The U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer on Thursday welcomed President George W. Bush’s plan to appoint Elizabeth Johnson as acting under secretary for food safety.

"Beth Johnson steps up to the challenge, highly regarded for her commitment and my confidence in her ability to marshal the resources of dedicated people and considerable scientific research for inspection and food safety," said Schafer.

Johnson reportedly has most recently served as chief assistant to Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner and Deputy Chief of Staff since May 2005.

The designation is pending the Oct. 1 retirement from federal service of Dr. Richard A. Raymond, who has been responsible for overseeing the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), since July 2005.

"Dr. Raymond has maintained his decency, humility and caring from his days as a country doctor and Nebraska Chief Medical Officer throughout his responsibilities here at USDA to direct actions that prevent disease and promote the quality and safety of the food we eat," said Schafer.


Source: Food Safety and Inspection Service