Statement of CSPI president Dr. Peter G. Lurie
The Center for Science in the Public Interest enthusiastically welcomes the announcement today by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that Sandra Eskin will become Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. A veteran consumer protection advocate long steeped in the nuances of food safety, Sandra Eskin is exactly the right choice to help lead the agency’s work to make our meat and poultry safe.
Eskin will go to the USDA at a particularly challenging time for the agency. The COVID-19 pandemic has widened inequities and worsened nearly every problem with our food supply, and employees at meat processing facilities are some of the hardest hit workers of any industry.
Even setting the pandemic aside, the USDA has much more it could be doing to protect Americans from foodborne pathogens, such as the more dangerous strains of Salmonella that contaminate poultry. Eskin, who knows that sound science is key to sound food safety policies, can help steer the ship in the right direction.
We congratulate Secretary Vilsack for making another fine choice to lead the agency. We look forward to working with Deputy Under Secretary Eskin when she assumes her post.