Margaret Hamburg Commissioner
Food and Drug Administration
Corby Kummer Senior Editor
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Margaret A. Hamburg
Margaret A. Hamburg became the 21st Commissioner of Food and Drugs in May 2009. The second woman to be nominated for this position, she is an experienced medical doctor, scientist, and public health executive. As the top official of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Hamburg is currently overseeing the implementation of laws to curb the use of tobacco and enhance food safety, and has undertaken major efforts streamline and modernize FDA’s regulatory pathways.
Before joining FDA, Dr. Hamburg worked at the Nuclear Threat Initiative from 2001 to 2009, first as the vice president for biological programs and later as the foundation’s senior scientist. From 1997 to 2001, she was assistant secretary for policy and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and in the 1990s she served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Hamburg earned her undergraduate and medical school degrees from Harvard University.
Corby Kummer is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he has established himself as one of the country's most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers.
Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), discusses the recent listeria contamination of cantaloupes, calling it "one of the most serious, most deadly foodborne outbreaks in decades." While the U.S. has one of the safest food supplies in the world, she says, "we are still very vulnerable to foodborne outbreaks."
Monthly journal of literature and opinion, one of the oldest and most respected of U.S. reviews. Published in Boston, it was founded in 1857 by Moses Dresser Phillips. It soon became noted for the quality of its fiction and general articles, contributed by distinguished editors and authors such as James Russell Lowell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry W. Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. In the early 1920s it expanded its scope to political affairs, featuring articles by figures such as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Booker T. Washington. In the 1970s increasing costs nearly shut down the magazine; it was purchased in 1980 by Mortimer B. Zuckerman and was sold to the National Journal Group in 1999.
Agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1927, it inspects, tests, approves, and sets safety standards for foods and food additives, drugs, chemicals, cosmetics, and household and medical devices. It can prevent untested products from being sold and take legal action to halt the sale of undoubtedly harmful products or of products that involve a health or safety risk. Its authority is limited to interstate commerce; it cannot control prices nor directly regulate advertising except of prescription drugs and medical devices.