Medical Definition of US Department of Agriculture

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

US Department of Agriculture: A department of the executive branch of the US government founded in 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln -- he called it the "people's Department" -- that is devoted to agriculture in its broadest sense.

The mission of the US Department of Agriculture (as stated on its Internet site) includes the following roles relevant to health:

  • USDA leads the Federal anti-hunger effort with the Food Stamp, School Lunch, School Breakfast, and the WIC Programs.
  • USDA is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products.
  • USDA is a research leader in everything from human nutrition to new crop technologies that allow us to grow more food and fiber using less water and pesticides.

The US Department of Agriculture is abbreviated and commonly referred to as the USDA.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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