The symposium kicks off a new project in which three national organizations representing state and local food safety and health officials – The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) – will collaborate with The George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health and Health Services to forge an updated agenda for enhancing the contribution state and local agencies make to the nation’s food safety system. The project is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is being coordinated by GWU research professor Michael R. Taylor.
Confirmed speakers at the June 17 symposium include USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond, FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Margaret Glavin, state and local food safety regulators (Joe Corby of New York and David Ludwig of Maricopa County, Arizona), state and local health officials (David Bergmire-Sweat of North Carolina and Joseph Russell of Flathead County, Montana), David Gombas of United Fresh Produce Association, Bob Brackett of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Two additional workshops will be hosted by ASTHO, NACCHO, and AFDO over the summer to develop specific proposals for enhancing state and local roles in foodborne illness surveillance, outbreak response, food safety regulation and inspection at state and local levels.
In October 2008, the proposals developed at the workshops, which could include changes in law, policy, programs and resources, as well as other ideas for building a more effective, nationally integrated food safety system, will be discussed at a second public symposium in Washington for all interested stakeholders.
The June 17 symposium will be held from 8:30 am-12:30 pm in the Media and Public Affairs Building on the GWU campus in Washington, D.C., at 21st and H St., NW. The MPA building is located three blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro Station on the Orange/Blue lines.