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GMA Urges President Bush to Address FDA Funding in State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today urged President Bush to call for increased funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during tonight’s State of the Union Address to the nation.

“The United States enjoys the safest food supply in the world; however, recent events have exposed weaknesses in our nation’s food safety net and undermined consumer confidence in the brands they buy and the food they eat. That is why, in addition to stepped-up industry efforts, we urge President Bush to join GMA and its member companies in calling for a doubling of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s food safety budget over the next five years when he addresses the nation during tonight’s State of the Union address.

“In September, GMA issued Commitment to Consumers: The Four Pillars of Food Safety, a unique and comprehensive proposal dedicated to preventing food safety problems before they arise, strengthening FDA’s oversight and enforcement, and recommending doubling FDA’s current budget from $450 million to $900 million over the next five years.

“FDA must be armed with the appropriate resources in order to adequately fulfill its food safety mission. We call on President Bush and Congress to expand the capacity of FDA by providing the Agency with the resources it needs to get the job done.

“We look forward to working with the Bush Administration and Congress to enact food safety reforms – including a significant increase to the FDA budget - that will strengthen America’s food safety net and bolster consumer confidence in the safety and security of our nation’s food supply,” concluded Dooley.