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Consumer Reports names Brian Ronholm as Director of Food Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Brian Ronholm has joined Consumer Reports as Director of Food Policy, the nonprofit consumer organization announced today.

Mr. Ronholm will lead Consumer Reports’ advocacy efforts to advance a safe and healthy food system. He will be based in CR’s Washington D.C. office.

Brian brings deep legislative and regulatory experience in food policy to CR.  As Deputy Under Secretary, Food Safety, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), he provided leadership, management and oversight of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the public health agency with more than 9,000 employees responsible for ensuring the safety of meat, poultry, catfish and processed egg products.

Brian also served as Agriculture Appropriations Associate in the office of U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, where he managed and coordinated activities involving key legislative initiatives for food and nutrition issues.

David Friedman, Vice President, Advocacy for Consumer Reports, said, “We’re excited to welcome Brian to CR. His experience and commitment to making our food system work for consumers will be instrumental in our efforts to build a better marketplace.  People should be able to shop for food with confidence, knowing the products we buy and the systems used to produce them are safe and healthy, and Brian is an ideal leader to drive this critical work at CR.”

Mr. Ronholm said, “I am thrilled to be joining Consumer Reports, which has an extraordinary history of science-based advocacy on food issues, and an outstanding reputation as a trusted resource for consumers, policymakers, and industry.  By combining the voices of consumers with the power of CR’s research and testing, we will work for a food system that puts the health and safety of families first. We must work together to reduce foodborne illness rates, ensure that our food systems are safe and transparent, and that consumers are informed when making the best choices for themselves and their families.  I’m proud to be joining this team to enhance this legacy and help empower a new generation of consumers.”

Prior to joining CR, Brian most recently served as Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, and he served in the same senior position at Arent Fox LLP.

Mr. Ronholm served at USDA from 2011 to 2017. In addition to overseeing FSIS, he chaired the U.S. Codex Policy Steering Committee, an interagency partnership that engages stakeholders in the advancement of science-based international food safety standards to facilitate fair trade, and served as Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF), which provides impartial scientific advice to federal agencies for use in developing integrated food safety systems.

As Agriculture Appropriations Associate for Rep. DeLauro from 2006 to 2011, he managed issues related to the House Agriculture-FDA Appropriations Subcommittee during Rep. DeLauro’s tenure as chair of the subcommittee.

For more information about CR’s work for food safety, visit https://www.consumerreports.org/issue/food-safety

Michael McCauley, mmccauley@consumer.org, 415-431-6747, ext 7606