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The Institute of Food Technologists has recognized two Congressional leaders for their outstanding contributions to science-based food policies. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., were presented with 2008 Congressional Support for Science Awards at a reception held in Washington, D.C., on June 4.
The IFT Congressional Support for Science Award acknowledges distinguished service by a legislator or policy maker who advocates for advancing the role of science and technology in food and agricultural policies. Criteria also include sustained attention to the scientific integrity of food and nutrition health issues.
Rep. DeLauro serves as chairwoman of the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee in the 110th Congress. In this capacity, she has worked to provide funding for a safe food supply and a healthy agricultural economy. DeLauro also co-founded the Congressional Food Safety Caucus to explore approaches to securing the food supply and reducing the incidence of foodborne illness and food safety breaches.
"We are very proud to recognize Congresswoman DeLauro for her dedication to making the U.S. food supply safe and nutritious for consumers," said IFT President John Floros in presenting the award to the legislator.
"We all have a stake in fixing today’s broken food safety system," said DeLauro. "Government has an essential role to play, but we cannot solve these challenges by ourselves. And for decades, the Institute of Food Technologists has championed the science, the technology, and the research we have needed to make real progress on food safety. Working together we can make real progress, and I look forward to continuing our partnership. I am proud to receive this award and proud to be working with you to strengthen our food safety system."
Rep. Whitfield, an unwavering supporter of the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007, also known as the Farm Bill, serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and is the ranking member on the Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Subcommittee. His strong support of the Farm Bill recognizes the legislation’s importance to farmers throughout the 1st Congressional District of Kentucky.
The farm bill authorizes more than $714 billion over the next 10 years to fund a wide range of U.S. agriculture and food assistance programs. The legislation extends price safety nets for farmers, reauthorizes food security and agricultural conservation programs, expands nutrition and food aid, and provides for commodity reforms, enhanced biofuel programs, and support for rural development.
"The importance of utilizing science and technology in food and agricultural policies cannot be stressed enough," said Whitfield in response to the IFT recognition. "Representing so many farmers and producers in Kentucky, I understand the importance of ensuring the safety, quality, and availability of our nation’s food supply. I look forward to continuing my efforts to aid our country’s producers in the years to come."
"Rep. Whitfield’s unique knowledge of farming operations has positioned him as an important voice on a range of food issues from farm to fork, and this award recognizes his dedication," Floros said, acknowledging the Kentucky congressman.
In addition to DeLauro, Whitfield, and Floros, those on hand for the award presentation held at the Rayburn House Office Building included IFT Executive Vice President Barbara Byrd Keenan, board members, past presidents, staff, senior government officials, and representatives of allied and partner organizations that share a commitment to food science and food safety.
This is the eighth year that IFT has presented the Congressional Support for Science Awards. Last year’s award winners were Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.