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The food industry, in the form of influential trade group the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), has placed its considerable weight behind President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget recommendations for improving food safety, which was released last Thursday.
Obama’s budget called for an additional $300 million for the Food and Drug Administration, which the agency says would be the biggest funding increase in its history. The FDA’s budget hasn’t increased since the mid-90s.
“We applaud the administration for recommending significant increases in food safety-related funding for FDA,” said Pam Bailey, president and CEO of the Washington-based GMA. “Food safety and consumer confidence is the No. 1 priority for the food and beverage industry. President Obama’s recommendation is the right thing to do and clearly demonstrates the administration’s commitment to rebuilding the FDA and strengthening and modernizing our nation’s food safety system.”
Additionally, Obama’s choice to head the FDA, Margaret Hamburg, a bioterrorism expert and onetime New York City health commissioner, said during her confirmation hearing last week that she would reorganize the agency to do a better job of guarding the U.S. food supply. No senators opposed her nomination, which is slated to be voted on by the full Senate before the end of the month.