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New APHIS administrator good for pork industry

The American National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauded the appointment of Cindy Smith as administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency critical to the health and profitability of the US pork industry.

APHIS's mission is to protect and promote American agriculture, regulate genetically engineered organisms, administer the federal Animal Welfare Act and carry out wildlife damage management activities.

"We're delighted to see someone with Ms. Smith's experience in this important leadership role," said NPPC president Jill Appell, a pork producer from Altona, Illinois.

"Her extensive experience in various APHIS programs will provide a smooth transition in leadership as the US confronts an ever-increasing threat of foreign animal and plant diseases and trade-distorting sanitary and phytosantitary barriers."

USDA Secretary Mike Johanns picked Smith to succeed Ron DeHaven, who retired as APHIS administrator August 3; Smith has been acting administrator since then. In April 2007, she was appointed as the associate administrator of APHIS.

Smith began her career with APHIS in 1979 shortly after graduating from high school. She has held numerous positions in the agency, including deputy administrator for biotechnology regulatory services and associate deputy administrator for wildlife services.

She played a major role in shaping the agency's biotechnology regulatory structure, establishing more rigorous requirements for field tests of genetically engineered crops and initiating efforts to review and strengthen the agency's overarching biotechnology regulations.

Smith earned a bachelor's degree in microbiology and a master's degree in management from the University of Maryland.

"We're pleased that Ms. Smith will be the first woman to lead APHIS in its 35-year history" said NPPC's Appell. "The US pork industry believes secretary Johanns made an excellent choice, and we look forward to working with Ms Smith."

Related websites:
• National Pork Producers Council
• University of Maryland
• US Department of Agriculture
• Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

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