FDA seeks increased funding for food safety

The Bush administration is asking Congress for an increase of $275 million above its current budget request to enhance federal food safety programs, U.S. Health Secretary Michael Leavitt said on Monday.

The White House initially requested a Food and Drug Administration budget of $2.4 billion for the 2009 fiscal year starting in October, a 5.7 percent increase over last year's budget.

"This additional funding will allow FDA to more rapidly take the steps necessary to meet the challenges of changing global markets and to better protect the American people," Leavitt said in a conference call with reporters.

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