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Ag Groups Make $1.6 Billion in Federal Research Requests

10:10AM Mar 04, 2013

Late last week, 17 agricultural commodity groups and another 34 allied animal agricultural groups sent letters to Congressional leaders asking them to reauthorize, and in some case increase, ag research funding.

The request was sent to leaders of both the U.S. Senate and House agriculture committees.

The total amount of the request exceeds $1.6 billion over the five-year life of the farm bill, currently languishing in Congress. But the groups note that expenditures for animal health are just 7% of those spent on human health initiatives.

"A renewed commitment to scientific agriculture research and extension programs that translate into an affordable, high-quality food supply for consumers is required," say the groups.

The groups also point out their concern over a change in the regulatory domination of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). In the past, the program has been a cooperative program among FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

"Currently, the program focus has moved away from the ARS and toward regulatory agencies—CVM as well as FSIS—that may limit farmers and veterinarians participation in NARMS and thus limit the valuable information the program provides," say the groups.

The full list of budget recommendations and requests can be read here