President Obama has not nominated a USDA undersecretary for food safety because the administration has had a hard time finding a candidate who has not engaged in lobbying, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.
Following testimony before the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on the fiscal 2010 budget, Vilsack said the administration wants to follow its rule "to make sure people haven't had lobbying experience" and is thoroughly vetting all candidates.
Lobbyists say it is hard for USDA to fully participate in congressional consideration of the food safety reform and modernization bill without an undersecretary in place. USDA handles food safety for meat, poultry and eggs and the undersecretary for food safety sets policy and handles international food safety issues.
Oh, sure, the piece says "lobbyists" are the ones making noise about it. But you know it's really just cover for the fact that bloggers rule!