Possible FSIS Candidate Refuse Comment

Several undersecretary posts remain to be filled at USDA.

During his news conference Monday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack talked about the important role of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection service. FSIS does not currently have a leader in the new administration, but according to the Washington Post, two names have surfaced. Caroline Smith-Dewall and Barbara Masters.

Smith-Dewall is currently food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Masters, a former FSIS administrator, is currently senior policy adviser at a Washington law firm. According to the Post, either could become the next undersecretary for food safety. The person selected would be responsible for crafting the government's policy and education programs on food safety. Senate confirmation is necessary.

Neither Smith-Dewall nor Masters would comment on their conversations with the Obama administration.

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