IFT Calls for Additional Farm Bill Funding for Land Grant Universities

April 17, 2008

CHICAGO—The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) today called for additional funding to support research at land-grant universities through the Farm Bill. IFT is an international, not-for-profit society for food science and technology with 22,000 members working throughout the profession in academia, industry and government.

"Although there is compelling evidence that food and agricultural research are already chronically underfunded, the current Farm Bill under consideration by the House and Senate represent a cut in mandatory funding for research in excess of 75 percent," according to IFT President John Floros, PhD. "At the very least, the Farm Bill should help land-grant universities retain the modest level of mandatory funding for food and agricultural research, extension and education (RE&E) in the final conference report for the Farm Bill (H.R. 2419)."

The success of every other Title in the Farm Bill is dependent in large part on the scientific outcomes and extension enabled through Research Title programs and funding. However, to meet an overall funding limit for the Farm Bill, the House and Senate are considering a cut of $1.24 billion from mandatory funding in the Research Title to help pay for other program increases.

Critical research conducted at land-grant universities has many positive effects on the food supply. This research enables scientists to:
• Determine key linkages between food and human diseases;
• Identify new ways to make our food supply safer;
• Discover ways to combat plant and animal disease in fields and ranches;
• Keep pathogens and other dangers out of our water, plants, and animals; and,
• Develop new, more sustainable techniques to provide foods with enhanced quality, nutrition, and convenience.

According to Floros: "Every day we are faced with new and emerging global challenges in food and agriculture that transcend borders. Put simply, a lack of funding will stifle scientific discovery and negatively impact how scientists confront the next generation of food challenges. The bottom line: Food and agriculture research is an affordable program with priceless results."  IFT news releases are fabulous.

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Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, IFT is a not-for-profit international scientific society with 22,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions in academia, government and industry. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues.

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