Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius commended federal food safety agencies for their accomplishments supporting the charge of President Obama's Food Safety Working Group, which advises the President on how to upgrade the U.S. food safety system for the 21st century. The Food Safety Working Group, chaired by Vilsack and Sebelius, recommended a public health-focused approach to food safety based on three core principles: prioritizing prevention; strengthening inspection and enforcement; and improving response and recovery.
"I'm proud of the significant progress that has been made to protect public health since the Food Safety Working Group announced its key findings last July," Vilsack said. "There is no more basic role for government than ensuring safe food."
Sebelius said HHS and USDA are focusing on public health as they work to improve the safety of the food supply. She noted that their farm-to-table prevention approach acknowledges the complexity and diversity of all the people and organizations involved in food production.