Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Chairwoman of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement today in reaction to President Obama’s proposed budget for the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration for fiscal year 2011:

“I commend President Obama for his understanding of the important work being done at the Food and Drug Administration. Supporting the FDA in their role of maintaining the safety of our food and medicine is essential, and I am pleased that the president has increased the FDA’s budget by 6 percent.

“The proposed focus on transforming food safety, protecting patients, and advancing regulatory science, reflects the president’s commitment to a strong food safety system, and I am very pleased with his continued support. However, while there are new food safety initiatives that deserve consideration, I am concerned that funding for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service remains essentially frozen with a miniscule 1.9 percent increase.

“The FSIS is responsible for front-line inspections and recalls, and will be stretched beyond its capacity by the growing population of our country and the resulting increase in food consumption. Recent food-borne illness outbreaks, such as a recent recall involving salami that has sickened 202 people in 42 states, clearly demonstrate that the FSIS is confronting ever more serious and widespread food safety concerns. FSIS should be given the resources to perform the critical food safety activities that comprise USDA’s public health mission area.”