Obama announces recess appointment of food-safety expert

President Obama on Thursday announced his intention to recess-appoint Elisabeth Hagen as under secretary for food safety at the Department of Agriculture. 

The recess appointment comes as Congress prepares to debate food-safety legislation that would greatly expand the Food and Drug Administration's powers to regulate the nation's food supply.

Hagen, who is currently the department’s chief medical officer, has "been instrumental in building relationships and fostering coordination with food safety and public health partners at the federal, state, and local level," according to a White House press release.

Obama also announced he would appoint Richard Sorian as assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.