Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety

The Under Secretary for Food Safety is a subcabinet position within the United States Department of Agriculture responsible for oversight of the policies and programs of the Food Safety and Inspection Service.[1] The Under Secretary chairs the U.S. Codex Steering Committee, which provides guidance to U.S. delegations to the Codex Alimentarius Commission.[2] The Food Safety and Inspection Service is responsible for ensuring the nation's supply of meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe and correctly labeled and packaged.[3]

United States
Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety
Seal of the Department of Agriculture
Jose Emilio Esteban
since January 4, 2022
FormationOctober 1994

The Under Secretary of Food Safety is appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Under Secretary is selected from among individuals with specialized training or significant experience in food safety or public health programs.[4] The position was created by the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, signed into law in October 1994.[5]

Under secretaries

Dr. Jose Emilio Esteban is the 6th and current Undersecretary of Food Safety. He was sworn in on January 4, 2022.[6]

Previous Under Secretaries include Dr. Mindy Brashears (March 2020–January 2021), Dr. Elisabeth Hagen (August 2010–December 2013), Richard Allen Raymond (July 2005–January 2009), Elsa A. Murano (October 2001–December 2004) and Catherine Woteki (July 1997–January 2001).[7][8] From December 1, 2004 until July 15, 2005, Merle D. Pierson was Acting Under Secretary. The then-incumbent Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator, Mike Taylor, became the acting Under Secretary from October 1994 to November 1996.[9][10][11]

See also


  1. "USDA Mission Areas".
  2. "Dr. Richard Raymond Bios". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  3. "Food and Safety Inspection Service". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  4. "US CODE: Title 7,6981. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  5. "5a.pdf" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2007. Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  6. "Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Following the Swearing in of Jose Emilio Esteban, Ph.D. to Serve as Under Secretary for Food Safety". United States Department of Agriculture. 2023-01-04. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  7. "Roberts Announces Senate Confirmation of USDA Nominee Brashears". Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  8. "Presidential Nomination: Richard Allen Raymond". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  9. "USDANEWS/Editor's Roundup/Catherine Woteki". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  10. "Pierson, Dr. Merle D." Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  11. "USDA NEWS\VOL 60 NO. 6\2001\Roundup\E Murano". Retrieved September 20, 2007.
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