David W.K. Acheson

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Dr. David W.K. Acheson, a "former University of Maryland medical school professor who had been chief medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration's food safety center," was appointed May 1, 2007, by President George W. Bush to the new position of "food safety czar" at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Acheson was directed "to develop a plan for addressing shortcomings exposed by recent scares in the human food supply." [1]

On writing regulations

During the week following a April 13, 2007 public hearing on produce safety, Acheson, then chief medical officer of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said "'We are now putting the emphasis on guidance and understanding the science and regulatory strategies.' At any point, he added, 'something could change. But it takes years to write regulations.'" [2]


On January 25, 2004, Acheson assumed the position of Director of the Food Safety and Security Staff at the FDA: [3]

"After graduating from the University of London Medical School in 1980, he trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases and was in clinical practice before joining Tufts-New England Medical Center in 1987. As an Associate Professor at Tufts University he undertook basic molecular pathogenesis research on foodborne pathogens, focusing on Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. In 2001, Dr. Acheson relocated his laboratory to the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore, Md., to continue research on foodborne pathogens. In addition to his academic career as a researcher, he also served as Senior Food Safety Scientist for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service from 2000-2001 and as their Chief Medical Officer from 2001-2002. In September 2002, Dr. Acheson joined FDA as the Chief Medical Officer for CFSAN."
"Internationally recognized for both his public health expertise in food safety and his research in infectious diseases, Dr. Acheson is a fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians (London) and the Infectious Disease Society of America."

According to his author's bio for the November 1998 book Safe Eating: Protect Yourself and Your Family Against Deadly Bacteria that Acheson co-authored with Robin Levinson and Robin K. Levinson (ISBN-10: 0440226597 / ISBN-13: 978-0440226598):

"David W.K. Acheson, M.D., is a former practicing physician with a specialty in gastroenterology, who has treated numerous patients with food-borne illnesses. He is currently director of the food safety initiative at New England Medical Center and is a member of the immunology faculty at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, where he is researching the shiga toxin, the deadly substance emitted by E. coli bacteria. His research has been widely published in medical journals, and in 1996 he received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study E. coli-related illnesses."

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