Remarks prepared for delivery
by FSIS Administrator Dr. Barbara Masters, before the 100 Years
celebration, on June 28, 2006, Patio of the Jamie L. Whitten
Building, Washington DC.
Thank you, Dr. Raymond. I want to reiterate Deputy Secretary
Connor's and Under Secretary Raymond's welcome, and on behalf
of FSIS I would like to express my sincere appreciation for
everyone attending this once-in-a-lifetime centennial celebration.
Within FSIS, we formed a 100 Years Committee to organize a
year long celebration of this momentous act. For over a year,
members of this committee representing each mission area showed
extraordinary dedication to FSIS by working tirelessly to put
together a years worth of events to help celebrate the 100th
anniversary of the FMIA.
In addition to the commemorative video that Dr. Raymond mentioned,
this committee developed the 100 Years Logo that you see on
the program, on the banners hanging up, and on the cakes in
the back. They also were instrumental in creating the 100 Years
Web site; special 100 Years apparel; and of course, today's
program. Also a great deal of research was also done to collect
many of the historic photos you see posted around the room.
These are just some of the projects, which have kept this committee
busy. It's amazing how they have managed to pull all this together
while carrying out their regular demanding duties.
Please help me recognize everyone on this committee for doing
a remarkable job of making our FMIA 100 Years celebration such
a success. If everyone would turn to the back page of your program,
you'll see their names listed, and let's have these folks on
the committee stand up and let's give them a roaring round of
applause. Thank you all very much!
It is employee dedication like this that has made the Federal
Meat Inspection Act so effective in protecting the safety of
the United States food supply, under FSIS and its predecessor
agencies for the past century.
It's one thing to have a statute in writing to protect people,
but it's the people responsible for giving those written words
meaning and enforcing them on a daily basis that make public
health protection a reality. We all play an important role,
and each of you are critical in successfully carrying out our
Our employees both past and present all know that the meat
they inspect could end up on the shelves of their own grocery
stores. If the food they inspect is safe and wholesome for their
own families, then it's safe enough for everyone's families.
This is the motivation which has driven employees for the past
100 years and one which still drives FSIS employees today.
Even though the challenges have evolved — as have the tools
to handle them over the century, the one constant has been the
fact that our personnel continuously look out for the public's
best interest as if it was their own.
The role of our workforce has evolved from one of pure inspection
to one that encompasses a multi-faceted approach to public health
protection. Not only do we inspect in the plants, but we also
place a heavy emphasis on education, prevention, and coordination
with all of our food safety partners to fulfill our number one
priority — to protect public health.
In fact, we have recently updated a critical vehicle and voice
for public health protection. Next to me is the cover of the
inaugural issue of "Be Food Safe," FSIS' updated food safety
magazine that will be debuting in September. This groundbreaking
magazine is a redesign of our long running news periodical Food
Safety Educator. We intend to create a government publication
that rivals any being produced today.
I believe it is important to point out that this impressive
effort was done without newly appropriated funds. Instead we
built upon the wide range of skills and expert knowledge of
our employees to create a more effective and appealing publication
that will help us to share our important food safety messages
with a much larger and diverse audience.
Protecting public health is not always an easy job. It often
means going far beyond what is normally required in our employees'
regularly scheduled work day. Our employees continuously show
their commitment to ensuring that the food coming out of FSIS-inspected
establishments is not only good enough for their families but
also for the millions of consumer they never get to see. This
dedication has made our food safety system stronger and the
past hundred years of the FMIA possible.
In fact, we have an employee from our Chicago District Office
who happened to be in Washington, D.C. taking a well-deserved
vacation with his family and is here today
Mr. Daryl Duvall.
Mr. Duvall is an EIAO in Chicago. Mr. Duvall if you and your
family would please stand up.
This spirit of service never leaves you. I believe that is
why we have many former employees stay in touch with us. In
fact, we have retirees here today, who couldn't pass up this
opportunity to help us reflect upon and celebrate the FMIA centennial.
Several of them have come a long way to be here, and I believe
they all deserve to be recognized for their service:
- Bob Murphy,
- Dick Nash,
- Jerry Synder,
- Bill Dubbert,
- Pete Tancredi,
- Bill Dennis,
- Fred Carmichael,
- Ada Favors,
- Abbie Logie, and
- Charlotte Casto.
Would you please stand? If any other FSIS retirees are in the
crowd, would you please stand as well? Everyone, please give
them a warm round of applause. You (the retirees) have helped
make today and what we'll accomplish tomorrow possible. Thank
I also want to acknowledge our FSIS management council. Together
we have over two centuries — in fact almost two and a half centuries
— of public service at FSIS. Thank you for all that you do.
Before I close, I want to say that both FSIS Management Council
and I thank everyone — current employees, retirees, and our
outside partners — for all of your contributions to public health.
As we commemorate the centennial anniversary of the FMIA, it's
important to reflect on how far we have come during this past
century. We have made amazing progress in protecting public
health, including advancements in science and technology that
have continually increased the safety of meat and poultry products
We all have a common motivation in knowing that our efforts
directly affect the American consumer. It doesn't matter what
our job titles are because when it comes to protecting public
health, all of our jobs are equally important. It takes all
of us to work together to make it happen.
Thank you again for joining us to celebrate the FMIA centennial.