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Bush Nominates FDA CommissionerBush Nominates FDA Commissioner

October 21, 2002

2 Min Read
Bush Nominates FDA Commissioner

Bush Nominates FDA Commissioner

WASHINGTON--President Bush nominated Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.d.,to the long-vacant post of commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration(FDA). The position has been up for grabs since Bush took office in 2000; LesterCrawford has been the highest ranking FDA official since he was named deputycommissioner in February, 2002.

McClellan is currently a member of the White House's Council of EconomicAdvisers. Educated at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT), he has also been a professor of economics and an associate professor ofmedicine at Stanford University.

"Mark McClellan is a superb choice for commissioner of the FDA,"said Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson in a statement."We live in an era where sound public policy depends on informed analysisand scientific knowledge combined with strong, compassionate leadership."He added that McClellan's strong background in medicine, science, public policyand economics would serve him well at FDA.

Trade organizations were also pleased with the appointment. The National FoodProcessors Association looks forward to working with McClellan, as does theCouncil for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). "To the best of my knowledge, hedoesn't have any direct experience with dietary supplements," said JohnCordaro, CRN president. "But he's a very competent, very objectivescientist. The fact that he has spent a lot of his time with the economics ofhealth care says that this could be a plus for our industry. ... He doesn't cometo FDA with negative baggage, which provides us an opportunity to inform and toeducate him about the industry." He added that McClellan and Crawford wouldmake a top-notch team for running the agency.

A new commissioner, however, does not erase the industry's pastfoibles--including such mis-steps as misleading labels and adulterated products."The industry needs to understand that the problems it is currently facingare of its own making," Cordaro said.

And according to David Seckman, executive director of the National NutritionFoods Association (NNFA), his organization is excited at the prospect that theBush Administration has finally picked a candidate to be commissioner. "Theinstallment of leadership in such an important public health position is longoverdue," he said. "We look forward to a speedy confirmationprocess."

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