USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today two organizational changes to support Secretary Sonny Perdue’s goal to make USDA the most effective, most efficient, and best managed department in the federal government. The internal changes will not impact the quality of services to the agriculture sector, but will improve opportunities for the cross-utilization of staff and equipment and leverage resources by creating greater economies of scale.
First, the administration of the Seed Regulatory & Testing Division (SRTD) will shift from the Livestock, Poultry & Seed Program to the Science & Technology Program (S&T). The Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program will become the Livestock and Poultry (L&P) Program, focusing on the livestock, poultry, and related industries to provide the best possible service to customers of these marketing programs. Under S&T’s administration, SRTD will continue to regulate and provide testing services for agricultural and vegetable seeds to ensure the efficient, orderly marketing of seeds and to assist in the development of new or expanding markets. The organizational change will increase efficiencies as the SRTD is already co-located with S&T’s National Science Laboratories in Gastonia, NC. The realignment enables AMS to provide an integrated vision and leadership to address regulatory issues important to the seed industry.
Second, AMS announced the establishment of the Food Disclosure and Labeling Division (FDLD) under the Fair Trade Practices Program. FDLD will manage the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law that requires retailers to provide consumers with information regarding the source of certain foods. Division leadership will also help establish and administer the Bioengineered Food Labeling program. Using FDLD to administer both AMS regulatory retail labeling programs will better serve American consumers and the entire grocery supply chain.
These improvements are focused on customer service and open up tremendous opportunities for cost-sharing and other shared measures in administrative, information technology and financial management functions.
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