In his budget proposal for fiscal year 2003, President Bush will include $131 million (€152m) in new spending to protect the nation's food supply from animal and plant pests and diseases, strengthen food safety programs and support specific research activities, the US Department of Agriculture recently.
Secretary Ann M. Veneman made the announcement during a four-state trip to Texas.
"This new funding reinforces this Administration s commitment to strengthening our protection systems to ensure agriculture and our food supply is guarded against potential threats," said Veneman. "It is extremely critical that we remain vigilant and work together with our federal and state partners, as well as the food and agriculture industry, to ensure the integrity of our food systems."
Veneman promised a $49 million (€56.8m) increase for animal health monitoring to enhance the ability to quickly identify potential threats. Additional resources will be used to improve the emergency management system that coordinates and implements rapid response to an animal or plant pest or disease outbreak. She also announced a $11 million (€12.7m) increase for programs to expand diagnostic, response, management and other technical services within the Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS).