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Governor Rendell Forms Food Safety Council to Protect Public Health, Food Supply
Date:2/25/2009

Agriculture and Health Secretaries to Chair Advisory Council

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To provide better oversight of Pennsylvania's food supply from the field to the dinner table, Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced the formation of the new Governor's Food Safety Council and announced his appointees to the panel.

The first council in the state to focus on food safety, members will advise the Governor on direction for security protocols and practices at all stages of the food supply. The council will also help facilitate coordination among federal, regional, state and local efforts. The council will be chaired by Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff and Health Secretary Everette James

"A threat to our food supply impacts not only the 63,000 farms in Pennsylvania and the millions of jobs related to the food industry, but the people all over the world that consume the foods we produce. It is critical that we do everything we can to ensure a safe and secure food supply," said Governor Rendell. "The Food Safety Council will help develop and implement the proactive food safety measures we need to protect the well-being of Pennsylvanians and the consumers of our state's many food products."

Council members represent all segments of food production, processing and retailing. They include health and emergency response personnel who are the first point of contact in a foodborne illness outbreak or a suspected threat to the food chain.

The council will be the guiding body behind the state's new multi-agency food safety initiative, the Strategy for Agriculture and Food Excellence, or SAFE.

"Our modern food supply is complex, and includes many steps from the initial production in the field to the final product served to consumers, overseen by an array of federal, state and local agencies," said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff. "
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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