Blogs Divided Over USDA Nominations

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Food Chemical News (April 20) reports two new nominees for key food and nutrition positions at USDA: Kevin Concannon as Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, and Rajiv Shah as Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics. Both require Senate confirmation.

Concannon announced his retirement last April after five years as director of the Iowa Department of Human Services. The department issued a statement of his accomplishments during his five years at that job. Shah, an MD, is director of agricultural development for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He advised Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2000.

The blogosphere reaction is decidedly mixed, with some for the appointments, some opposed to them, and some neutral.

I don't know anything about either of the candidates and am eager to hear from people who do.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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