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    PMA Supports FDA Hiring Plan

    FDA seeking 1,300 'critical need' professionals for new job creation program.

    On the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's planned hiring of more than 1,300 biologists, chemists, pharmacologists and other staff members by October as part of a major expansion to assure the safety of drugs, medical devices, food, and other products, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) praised the news that federal lawmakers have said has been long in coming.

    In a statement, the Newark, Del.-based PAM said it is "pleased to see the agency undertake such an ambitious hiring program to further bolster its capacity to protect public health. PMA continues to advocate for increased funding for the agency during Hill visits. We urge FDA to allocate additional resources for the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) in order for CFSAN to better fulfill its important produce food safety mission."

    With a total of some 10,000 employees at present, FDA is seeking to fill 1,300 positions by Sept. 30 -- the end of the fiscal year. The agency will immediately seek to hire at least 600 new "critical need occupation" positions in the first hiring wave, with an additional 700 jobs to follow as part of the second hiring phase.

    The "critical need occupations" include medical officers, consumer safety officers, chemists, nurse consultants, biologists, microbiologists, health/regulatory/general health scientists, mathematical statisticians, epidemiologists, pharmacologists, pharmacists and veterinary medical officers.

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