It’s at this level that the Under Secretary has the ability to influence policies and directions for current and future food safety initiatives.
An example might be when the Undersecretary decided that an additional set of pathogenic Escherichia coli’s could in fact be declared adulterants, and suggested to FSIS that they move forward with the process.
Still to be Filled
In April, Thomas Shanower was named acting director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and currently, the USDA FSIS has an acting administrator (Paul Kiecker). Both positions will eventually need to find permanent administrators.
Ramkishan Rao, PhD, and a retired national program leader at USDA-NIFA, says these jobs remain vacant in no part to the lack of highly qualified candidates. It’s all about politics.