On May 21st, the FASS Scientific Advisory Committee on Food Safety, Animal Drugs and Animal Health sponsored a symposium to address emerging issues impacting animal agriculture and the animal sciences. The event was held at the American Farm Bureau Federation headquarters and 50 representatives from academia, government and industry participated in the symposium. FASS Washington Representatives Lowell Randel and Walt Smith played an active role in the development of the agenda and securing speakers for the symposium.
Participants heard from representatives of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine regarding the agency’s antibiotics policies, veterinary feed directive, regulation of feed ingredients, and implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. USDA representatives, including Ann Bartuska, Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics and new NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy, addressed issues ranging from agricultural research policies to food safety and animal health. The group also heard from Senate Agriculture Committee staff about the 2012 Farm Bill and the FASS Congressional Science Fellow. A full copy of the agenda can be found by clicking here.
FASS, ADSA, ASAS and PSA joined an effort led by the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) to send an open letter to Congress about the importance of agriculture research. The open letter was placed in the National Journal and urged Members of Congress to support investments in agriculture research as the fiscal year 2013 appropriations process continues. The letter cites the strong return on investment of federal funds in agriculture research and that more than 21 million American jobs depend on the vitality of the agriculture sector.
FASS, ADSA, ASAS and PSA joined like minded scientific and agriculture organizations in sending a letter to the House Agriculture Committee supporting the establishment of a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. The House Agriculture Committee recently completed its farm bill hearings process and is in the process of preparing for committee consideration of its version of the 2012 Farm Bill. House committee action is expected to take place this summer. The Senate Agriculture Committee has already approved its version of the 2012 Farm Bill, which includes provisions authorizing the creation of a Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. The Senate version is expected to be considered on the floor of the Senate as early as June.
The FASS Science Policy Committee is sponsoring a webinar on June 12, 2012 from 2:00 - 3:00pm entitled “Strengthening the Ties Between Animal Science and Biomedicine: Dual Use and Other Opportunities Through the NIH.” Webinar participants will hear from NIH representatives about how to work with the National Institutes of Health and current dual use programs. They will also hear from a university scientist who has successfully competed for NIH funding and also served on NIH review panels. To register for the webinar, please visit the following site: http://www.fass.org/policy.asp
FASS Washington Representatives Lowell Randel and Walt Smith will be attending the upcoming Poultry Science Association annual meeting and the ADSA/ASAS Joint Annual Meeting in July. We look forward to seeing society members at these meetings and encourage you to attend our FASS Science Policy Update session at JAM on Monday afternoon from 5:00pm - 6:00pm – check your program for additional details.