CFA's Carol Tucker Foreman on Nomination of Michael Leavitt for Secretary of Health and Human Services



December 13, 2004
Chris Waldrop, 202-797-8551

One of Mr. Leavitt's stated goals as administrator of the EPA was to give it all he had. He will face a number of challenges as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services and we hope he will bring that same spirit to HHS. Is he courageous and tough enough to marshall all available resources to curb America's growing problem of obesity and to protect public health against a bioterrorist attack on our food supply? His predecessor raised the issues. Mr. Leavitt should act on them.

Finally, is Mr. Leavitt wise enough to understand the need for a national discussion on the moral and ethical implications of allowing meat and milk from cloned animals to enter our food supply? FDA is close to a decision on the science but the public cares about the values issues involved in animal cloning. The secretary of HHS can and should encourage that discussion before FDA acts.

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The Consumer Federation of America is a non-profit association of 300 consumer groups, representing more than 50 million Americans, that seeks to advance the consumer interest through research, education and advocacy. Carol Tucker Foreman is the Director of CFA's Food Policy Institute and a former assistant Secretary of Agriculture.