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Statement by Secretary Mike Johanns Regarding the Strategic Framework for Import Safety September 10, 2007


"I commend Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt for his leadership, as chair of the Interagency Working Group on Import Safety, in producing the Strategic Framework for import safety, which he presented to President Bush today.

"The Strategic Framework establishes the building blocks upon which the U.S. system of import safety can be strengthened, recognizing that the U.S. enjoys one of the safest food supplies in the world. Secretary Leavitt has traveled the country to collect input from those involved with importing goods, while also bringing together the collective ideas of the twelve federal departments that make-up the working group.

"The Strategic Framework will serve as the foundation for an Action Plan being developed by the working group, which we hope to present to the President in November. The action plan will provide specific short- and long-term recommendations.

"I look forward to being joined by Secretary Leavitt this Wednesday as we tour a small meat processing plant in Kansas City, Missouri, and meet with Midwest producers to hear their recommendations about strengthening import safety.

“I am also pleased to host a public meeting at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Jefferson Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on October 1, 2007, to provide consumers and advocates an opportunity to offer comments about import safety. Details about the public meeting and comment period, the Strategic Framework and other import safety information are available at .”


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