EDGARTOWN, Mass. — President Clinton signed an executive order Tuesday creating a council to oversee food safety, a task that has been handled by a patchwork of federal agencies.
The President's Council of Food Safety will coordinate enforcement, research, education and prevention activities. It also will be charged with developing a coordinated, annual federal budget for food safety issues.
The council will be headed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Dr. Neal Lane.
Although U.S. food is considered the world's safest, up to 9,000 Americans die every year from food poisoning and millions are sickened.
Currently, more than 12 federal agencies have some role in protecting the nation's food supply with many jurisdictions overlapping.