NEWS SCAN: USDA lists food safety plans, IDSA critiques HHS budget

Feb 5, 2010

USDA plans food safety initiatives for school lunch program
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced several initiatives yesterday to boost the safety and quality of food used in the National School Lunch Program and other food assistance programs. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will impose new food safety requirements for its beef suppliers and has asked the National Academy of Sciences to review those requirements, with results expected by summer. In addition, the AMS will share more information with other USDA agencies in order to improve vendor performance and identify possible food safety problems. In other steps, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will evaluate how state agencies communicate with school districts about food recalls and will provide funds to help states improve the speed and accuracy of their food safety messages. The FNS also will set up a center of excellence for research on school food safety issues.
Feb 4 USDA news release

IDSA says White House budget cuts infectious disease programs
An analysis by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the specialty society for infectious disease physicians, says that President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget makes severe cuts in several infectious disease programs. Notably, the society says, pandemic influenza preparedness programs in the Department of Health and Human Services are cut by $300 million. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the infectious diseases program budget is cut by 5%, or almost $100 million, while the antimicrobial resistance program is cut by 50% or $8.6 million. The CDC would also see a 21% cut in the funding used as grants under the Section 317 immunization program, which allows states to pay for vaccines for children of the working poor. Infectious diseases research at the National Institutes of Health and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority would rise slightly, but below expectations, the society said.
Feb 4 IDSA statement

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