USDA allocates $43 million more to guard nation's food supply

| 5/13/2002

Agricultural Secretary Ann Veneman, testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee April 30, announced the United States Department of Agriculture has allocated $43 million through grants and federal/state partnerships to help states increase homeland security.

Veneman reportedly discussed how the USDA is spending the $328 million allocated to the department through the Defense Appropriations Supplement signed by President Bush in January. She outlined proposals in the 2003 budget targeted at food safety programs and pest and disease prevention programs.

The funds would be split as follows: $177 million to make physical and operational security improvements at key USDA locations; $35 million to improve the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection program at the borders; $16.5 million for the Food Safety and Inspection Service to increase monitoring of the food supply, provide training to inspectors and expand technical capabilities; $43 million in assistance to states for better coordination between states, and homeland security safeguards.