WASHINGTON (FNS) -- The appointment of the Food and Drug Administration's No. 2 official to head the U.S. Agriculture Department's beleaguered meat inspection agency is getting high initial marks from industry and consumer groups alike.
As FDA's deputy commissioner for policy, the USDA appointee, Mike Taylor, is widely credited with smoothly handling implementation of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. He starts his new post Aug. 15.
"He is by far the most experienced and talented government regulator they have ever had in that job," said Carol Tucker Forman, coordinator of the Safe Food Coalition and long-standing critic of the Food Safety & Inspection Service's ability to police the safety of the nation's meat supply. Forman said Taylor brings valuable experience to FSIS from his work on FDA's new Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point inspection program for seafood and on other food safety programs. FSIS is developing a mandatory HACCP program for all federally inspected meat and poultry plants.
American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle said Taylor's HACCP experience is crucial. The National Broiler Council said Taylor "has the reputation of being an experienced, capable and dedicated policymaker."