The U.S. Senate recently confirmed Elisabeth Hagen as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) under secretary for food safety. President Barack Obama (D) used a “recess appointment” in August 2010 to install Hagen as USDA’s top foodsafety official after the Senate had not yet confirmed her appointment since her nomination nearly a year earlier.  

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack was quoted as saying that Hagen’s background as USDA’s chief medical officer and senior executive within its Food Safety and Inspection Service will serve her well because “there is no higher priority at USDA than ensuring that Americans have access to a safe and healthy food supply.” See USDA Press Release, September 16, 2010.