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The Washington Post this morning reports that one of the challenges facing President-elect Barack Obama is what to do with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which he pledged to overhaul during his campaign for the presidency.

“In cash-strapped times, the challenges of mounting new initiatives are daunting,” the Post writes. “And the USDA is still battling long-running problems: subsidy programs that give huge sums to ineligible, millionaire farmers; a food inspection system that puts Americans at risk for food-borne illnesses; and nutrition programs that fail to identify more than 30 percent of Americans who live in poverty and are at risk of hunger every month.”

KC's View:
The Post does highlight one hoped-for priority for the Obama administration – “improving the department's food safety inspections. At present, the USDA and 14 other departments and agencies administer a patchwork of food safety laws that often overlap and do not always make public safety the first priority.”

We can hope.