The National Chicken Council joined a list of agriculture groups, livestock and poultry producers in sending a letter on March 5 urging for swift Senate confirmation for Dr. Mindy Brashears to be U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Food Safety.

The letter, addressed to Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John Thune (R-SD) and Dick Durbin (D-IL).

The Under Secretary for Food Safety position was last filled in 2013 by Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. Dr. Brashears was formally nominated for the position by President Trump in May 2018. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue named Dr. Brashears Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, a position that does not require Senate confirmation, in January 2019.

“For more than five years, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not had a confirmed Under Secretary in the essential mission area of food safety,” the letter reads. “American consumers enjoy the safest and most secure food supply in the world and for a position vital to public trust to remain vacant for that period of time, particularly in light of the recent reshuffling of leadership at FSIS, is in no one’s best interest.”

The letter was also signed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, North American Meat Institute and United Egg Producers.