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Media Release: August 26, 2010

ALLIANCE PRAISES DR. HAMBURG’S LEADERSHIP AND FDA’S ROLE IN EGG RECALL

Calls for Additional FDA Funding to Reduce/Prevent Further Outbreaks

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 26, 2010 — The Alliance for a Stronger FDA today praised Dr. Hamburg’s leadership and the efforts of FDA employees in tracking down and responding to the outbreak of Salmonella in eggs. The Alliance further stated that this current effort is hindered by lack of funding for food safety efforts. Preventing a similar incident in the future depends on increased appropriations for FDA.

“Every American relies on federal and state governments to assure a safe food supply and FDA oversees 80% of all foods” said Wayne Pines, President of the Alliance.  “Commissioner Hamburg’s leadership has been essential in the current outbreak, as have the efforts of FDA employees. We must supply the FDA with better funding so it has the resources to enforce our laws and prevent future outbreaks.”

At least 2,000 people have been sickened in 22 states due to eggs contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis.  The outbreak began only months before FDA began implementing a new prevention program covering the shell egg industry. That program will require the agency to institute inspections of egg producers if it is to effectively prevent another outbreak.

“Ultimately, the goal is to prevent future outbreaks. It is feasible to do this, but only with a much larger investment in the food safety programs at FDA,” said Nancy Myers, Vice President of the Alliance. “FDA is underfunded relative to its responsibilities. Food safety concerns multiply every year as more companies provide food, imports increase, and our ability to inspect and implement prevention programs are hampered by lack of funding.”

The Alliance for a Stronger FDA is a coalition of more than 180 consumer, patient, professional and research groups, companies, trade associations, and individuals who support increased appropriated funding for FDA.  The Alliance is the only multi-stakeholder group that advocates for increasing resources at FDA to match the agency’s responsibilities.

Attached is an Alliance fact sheet concerning FDA funding needs and food safety.

If you wish to receive more information about the FY 2011 and FY 2012 appropriations cycles and why FDA needs increased funding, please send an e-mail to info@StrengthenFDA.org.

More information about the Alliance can be found at http://www.StrengthenFDA.org.