Consumer Food Safety Advocate Richard R. Wood to Receive Food and Drug Administration's Highest Award

May 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Food Animal Concerns Trust

    CHICAGO, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA)
 has selected Richard R. Wood, Executive Director of Food Animal Concerns Trust
 (FACT), to receive the FDA's most prestigious citizen's award: the
 Commissioner's Special Citation.
     The award will be presented to Wood on May 4th in Rockville, MD, in
 recognition of his significant contributions to the work of the FDA's Center
 for Veterinary Medicine (CVM).  Wood is the consumer representative on the
 FDA's Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee (VMAC)-a group of outside experts
 that advises the Commissioner on food safety problems such as antibiotic
 resistant bacteria originating on farms and the prevention of mad cow disease
 in the U.S.
     In nominating Wood for the citation, Dr. Stephen S. Sundlof, Director of
 CVM, stated, "Mr. Wood is one of the most effective consumer representatives
 ever to serve on VMAC, and his participation in other important Center and
 Agency meetings has been invaluable."
     Sundlof added, "Like many FDA advisory committees, VMAC often discusses
 scientific and technical issues.  However, it is difficult to find
 representatives who can speak for consumers as well as address these
 scientific and technical issues.  In the past, CVM and other parts of the FDA
 have had to settle for consumer representatives on advisory committees who are
 either out of touch with consumer concerns or lacking in scientific knowledge.
 Mr. Wood has been extraordinary in fulfilling both roles."
     Richard Wood's activities on behalf of the FDA are an outgrowth of his
 critical work with Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT).  A Chicago-based non-
 profit organization, FACT conducts on-farm research and works closely with the
 federal government.
     It seeks to improve animal husbandry practices and to improve the safety
 of meat, milk, and eggs.  Since 1988, FACT has worked aggressively on behalf
 of consumers to protect them from foodborne illnesses and in 1991 it developed
 a successful program to eliminate Salmonella contamination on egg farms.
     Prior to joining FACT, Wood was a consultant to advocacy organizations
 including the Citizens Organizing Project, which addresses issues surrounding
 coal mining practices that are harmful to farmland and the environment.  He
 also served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance,
 working with family farmers on sustainable agriculture policies and practices,
 and Illinois IMPACT, an ecumenical public policy program that addressed
 poverty, criminal justice, and land use issues.
     A graduate of Northern Illinois University and the recipient of Masters
 and Doctor of Ministry Degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary, Mr. Wood
 resides in Chicago.
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SOURCE Food Animal Concerns Trust