IFT Names 2003 Congressional Science Award Winners

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Recognizing the importance of focused and intentional efforts advancing food science and technology, the 2003 Congressional Support for Science Award will be presented this week to U.S. Reps. Rush Holt, N.J., and Frank Lucas, Okla. The award is presented annually by the Institute of Food Technologists, the not-for-profit society for food science and technology.

IFT will recognize and present these congressional leaders their awards in a public reception 5-7 p.m., Thursday, June 19, at Longworth House Office Building, Room 1539, Washington, D.C.

"As a physicist and advocate for sound science, Congressman Holt is a leader by furthering advancements in science and scientific programs," said IFT President Mark McLellan. "His Food Biotechnology Information Initiative Act will provide the public with science-based understanding of the safety of food produced through biotechnology techniques. And upon approval, it will also support additional research on the economic and environmental benefits of foods derived through biotechnology."

Holt is also co-sponsor of separate legislation supporting necessary funding to ensure a healthy supply of scientists for the future, and guaranteeing that organic livestock farms utilize only organic feeds.

Lucas' Agricultural Bioterrorism Countermeasures Act supports establishment of science-based countermeasures addressing terrorist threats against the food supply. Lucas has also co-sponsored a bill to ensure uniform, science-based food labeling standards.

"Congressman Lucas' commitment to science and research is exemplary," said McLellan. "His decade of service on Capitol Hill is punctuated with effective conservation practices and steadfast support for food and agriculture research and science-based food safety policies."

"Efforts by these leaders and the award's previous recipients help manifest the best quality and the safest food supply of any in the world," McLellan said.

Selected by an independent panel of IFT members, the Congressional Support for Science Award honors recipients for their recent support for food science and technology. Prior recipients are U.S. Senators Thad Cochran, Miss., and Richard Durbin, Ill. (2001) and U.S. Reps. Nick Smith, Mich., and Charles W. Stenholm, Tex. (2002).

The Congressional Support for Science Award acknowledges distinguished service by legislator, policy-maker or advocate for advancing the role of science and technology in food and agricultural policies. Criteria also considered include sustained attention to the scientific integrity of food and nutrition or health issues. The award is presented annually to two members of Congress as acknowledgment for outstanding contributions to science-based food policies during the previous year.


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