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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Food & Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg will address produce industry leaders Friday morning, Sept. 11, attending the United Fresh Produce Association's Washington Public Policy Conference.

"Given the importance of discussions about food safety legislation in Congress, Dr. Hamburg's contributions to the White House Food Safety Working Group and the FDA's recent issuance of commodity specific guidelines for tomatoes, melons and leafy greens, this is an outstanding opportunity for our industry to hear from the commissioner," United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel said in a Sept. 1 press release. "Food safety continues to be a critical priority for United Fresh, and we remain committed to working with Dr. Hamburg to pass sound, science-based food-safety legislation and improve the health of all Americans by providing wholesome, fresh and safe fruits and vegetables."

Appointed by President Obama in March, Dr. Hamburg has extensive experience in the field of public health, including work with the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease, New York Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Department of Health & Human Services and most recently the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

In addition to hearing Dr. Hamburg's remarks, conference attendees may also participate in a private, interactive town hall meeting with FDA officials.

Dr. Hamburg joins a growing list of speakers at the Washington Public Policy Conference, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who will deliver the keynote address Thursday, Sept. 10.

This year will mark record attendance for the Washington Public Policy Conference, with more than 425 registrants, making it the largest produce industry event of its kind in the nation's capital. The three-day annual conference, Sept. 9-11 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, will provide attendees the opportunity to engage in a wide range of policy-oriented activities, including the popular Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill, with honorary co-hosts Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Reps. Colin Peterson (D-MN), John Lucas (R-OK), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) and Adam Putnam (R-FL) as well as visits to more than 140 congressional offices, the U.S. Capitol and the Canadian Embassy.

For more information about this year's Washington Public Policy Conference, contact Angela Bezon at 202/303-3400 ext. 416.