Lipinski Secures Millions for Food Safety Research in Summit

Funding will help keep Americans safe and sustain 100 local jobs
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2997, the Agriculture Appropriations Act of 2010, which includes $2.077 million secured by Congressman Dan Lipinski for the National Center for Food Safety and Technology located in the Third Congressional District in Summit, IL. Under the direction of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), the Center works to proactively address and resolve national and global food safety issues. Currently, 100 area residents are employed at the Center.

"Far too often we hear about food recalls and warnings, and far too often people are getting sick - and sometimes dying - after eating common foods such spinach, tomatoes, peanut butter, and peppers," stated Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03). "In fact, foodborne diseases cause approximately 76,000,000 illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. That is why I am pleased to have once again secured federal funding for IIT's National Center for Food Safety and Technology. This funding will be critical in providing local researchers the tools they need to protect our national food supply while sustaining good-paying local jobs."

Established in 1988, the National Center for Food Safety and Technology provides an environment where experts from industry, academia, and government pool their scientific experience and institutional perspectives to promote food safety and provide solutions for improving public health. The Center's research has been applied to science-based policy and production processes affecting a wide variety of food safety issues including E. coli in spinach, Salmonella in processed foods, Botulinum in canned foods, and chemical contaminants in foods.

"We are deeply appreciative of Congressman Lipinski's successful efforts to secure funding for IIT's National Center for Food Safety and Technology," said David Baker, IIT Vice President for External Affairs.  "This $2,077,000 in the House Agriculture Appropriations bill will help keep 100 IIT and Food and Drug Administration employees at work, developing new technologies for protecting the nation's food supply in collaboration with industry and the federal government."

H.R. 2997 also increases the overall level of national investment in food and drug safety. Specifically, the legislation provides nearly $3 billion, 14 percent more than 2009, for the Food and Drug Administration to conduct 1,150 more foreign and domestic food inspections and conduct 20,000 more examinations of imported food. In addition, H.R. 2997 provides over $1 billion for the Food Safety and Inspection Service, 5 percent more than 2009, for inspection of meat, poultry, and egg products, helping to keep Americans safe.

Since entering Congress in 2005, Representative Lipinski has secured over $17,000,000 for local projects like the National Center for Food Safety and Technology during the annual appropriations process and more than $126,000,000 for local transportation projects.

(July 9, 2009)


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