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Opelika Native to Head the FDA

By Alabama Public Radio

Washington, D.C. – President Bush has picked an Opelika native to head the Food and Drug Administration. Lester Crawford will replace Mark McClellan. McClellan left the FDA last March to oversee the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Officials say the administration is under more pressure now to respond to concerns about bio-terrorism and drug safety, as well as to keep doctors and patients informed about drugs. The White House says Crawford is ideal for the job because he's been acting commissioner for almost a year and has experience in monitoring food safety. Opponents, meanwhile, are criticizing the 66-year-old's ties to the food industry. Crawford earned a degree as a veterinarian from Auburn University and a PhD. in pharmacology from the University of Georgia.

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