Dr. Lester Crawford has been appointed deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration by US president George W Bush, in a move that has been welcomed by food industry groups.

National Food Processors Association (NFPA) president and CEO John R. Cady commented: "The NFPA applauds President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson on the appointment of Dr. Lester Crawford as Deputy Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

"Dr. Crawford brings public policy and public health expertise and experience to his new position at FDA. NFPA looks forward to working closely with Dr. Crawford to assure continued protection and enhancement of the US food supply.

"NFPA gained first-hand knowledge of Dr. Crawford's skilled and insightful approach to food safety and public health policy during his tenure as NFPA's Executive Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs.

"We are confident his appreciation of scientific research programs and commitment to science-based policy will strengthen FDA's capabilities to serve and protect the public. It is gratifying to see a food safety expert with Dr. Crawford's breadth of education and public policy experience assume leadership as Deputy Commissioner of FDA."