From the tractor
by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
On Aug. 10 the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will host the 6th Annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum in the Expo Building at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
It is hard to believe this will be the sixth year we have held a food safety event, but the response through the years has been good and each year this event continues to grow.
Food safety remains a hot topic for consumers, produc-ers, regulators, public health professionals and university researchers. It is certainly one of our top priorities in the NCDA&CS. Ultimately, this issue involves everyone and could have a significant impact on the state’s $70 billion agriculture and agribusiness industry.
This year our program will focus on the future of food safety. Our guest speakers will be national food safety experts, representatives of the state’s congressional delegation, indus-try leaders, state and federal regulators, public health officials, emergency management staff and university staff.
We are proud to have joining us as keynote speakers: Dr. James Gorny, senior advisor, Office of Food Safety for the Food and Drug Administration; Dr. Dan Engeljohn, deputy assistant administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development with USDA; and Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Disease with the Centers for Disease Control.
I know we will have an insightful program given the expertise of these speakers. We’ll hear about produce safety and Good Agricultural Practices, food safety in terms of animal production, and foodborne illness outbreak investigations.
In addition, there will be a panel discussion on integrated food systems in North Carolina and a presentation on effective food safety messages.
The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and lunch will be served. The forum is free and open to the public, but we ask that folks register so we will know how many to plan for.