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Rod Leonard, former IATP board member and former USDA official.

Rod Leonard identifies a long-standing and continually reinforced hands-off policy that limits food safety inspectors' recourse to filing paperwork should they find a breach, and a policy process in which "all the Washington players on food safety sit at the policy table possessed by mutual suspicions, and agreed in a mutual contempt for people who inspect food." In other words, while food safety slowly deteriorates, policy makers in Washington continue to tie the hands of those actually safeguarding our food.

"This," he says, "is a classic example of program mismanagement: allocating time to paper work and record keeping that would be better deployed in keeping the food system free of contaminated food." He believes the president holds the key to reforming the system through having the statutory authority to adopt an inspection system to safeguard the American food supply, and the power to begin restoring public confidence in food safety policy.