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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Administration Names FDA Deputy

Lester M. Crawford Jr., DVM, Ph.D., was named deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Feb. 25. Crawford began the position immediately.

As deputy commissioner, he is the senior official at FDA until a commissioner of food and drugs is appointed.

Crawford replaces Bernard A. Schwetz, DVM, Ph.D., a career FDA executive who has served as acting principal deputy commissioner since Jan. 21, 2001. Schwetz, senior adviser for science, will continue to work within the agency.

Crawford most recently served as head of the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy at Virginia Tech. He was administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service from 1987 to 1991 and director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine from 1978 to 1980, and again from 1982 to 1985. He received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University in 1963 and a doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Georgia in 1969. He has also served as executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, executive vice president of the National Food Processors Association, chairman of the University of Georgia's Department of Physiology-Pharmacology and as a practicing veterinarian.

The FDA is the nation's oldest consumer protection agency. Its mission is to promote and protect public health by helping to ensure that safe and effective products reach the market in a timely way and by monitoring products for continued safety after they are in use.

The FDA has a budget of nearly $1.6 billion and has more than 9,000 employees.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIII/number 4/p. 10

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