In its continued commitment to food-safety issues, the Obama administration has tapped Michael Taylor, George Washington University researcher and nationally recognized food-safety expert, as the Food and Drug Administration's senior advisor to the commissioner.

This is a return trip to FDA for Taylor. He will wor/k with Margaret Harriburg, commissioner of food and drugs, as well as with FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine, the Office of Regulatory Affairs, Congress and with members of the Obama administration, according to an FDA news release.

According to FDA, Taylor's tasks will include the following: 

  • Assess current food program challenges and opportunities
  • Identify capacity needs and regulatory priorities
  • Develop plans to allocate fiscal year 2010 resources
  • Develop FDA's budget request for fiscal year 2011
  • Plan implementation of new food-safety legislation

Taylor first went to FDA in 1976 as a litigating attorney. He then served as  as FDA's deputy commissioner for policy from 1991 to 1994.

From 1994 to 1996, went to USDA to administer the Food Safety and Inspection Service and serve as the acting under secretary for food safety.

Since 2000, Taylor has worked in academic and research settings. Recent research has focused on policy, resource and institutional issues that impact public health agencies' ability to carry out prevention-related missions.

His experience and expertise will help the agency develop and implement the prevention-based strategies to ensure the safety of the food we eat, Hamburg said.