May 11, 2009

CARDIN RENEWS CALL FOR INCREASED FUNDING TO FINALIZE FDA CONSOLIDATION AT WHITE OAK

OAK"We cannot afford to delay the efficiencies that the White Oak consolidation is designed to achieve."

Washington , DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today renewed his call for adequate funding to complete the consolidation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to its White Oak Federal Research Center in Silver Spring, MD. Senator Cardin was at White Oak to participate in the dedication of Building 66, the eighth of 14 buildings to be completed in the complex.

 

"Today's celebration of this state-of-the-art facility for the Center for Devices and Radiological Health is another piece of a successful transition from a military base to a new campus, one which will help us address the compelling public health concerns our nation faces.   The recent threat from the H1N1 flu virus has underscored the need for an FDA that is prepared for the public health issues of the 21 st Century," said Senator Cardin.

 

"FDA's need for consolidated and improved facilities has long been documented -- FDA has had some 8,000 employees scattered among some 39 buildings in 20 different locations.   Its laboratories were outdated, overcrowded and failed to meet health and safety standards. Upon completion, the campus environment here at White Oak will create synergy to improve scientific rigor and performance across the agency. The new high-tech infrastructure will provide FDA with an opportunity for innovation and more effective use of technology to meet challenges in product safety, global markets, and increased consumer demand.

 

"Our work in completing this new campus is far from done. While I was pleased that the President's FY10 budget, released last week, included $138 million to continue consolidation here at White Oak, it falls far short of the funds needed to complete this project.   In response, along with my Senate colleague Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), I have requested $300 million for the FDA White Oak in the FY10 Financial Services Appropriations bill, $40 million of which will be used to complete the CBER lab.

 

"Thus far, the project here at White Oak has been a model of efficiency with all components of the plan being completing on time and within budget.   But unless GSA is appropriated the funds it needs the project will not be completed on time and taxpayers will have to foot the bill.   We cannot afford to delay the efficiencies, partnerships among scientists and researchers, and the use of new technology that the FDA consolidation here at White Oak is designed to achieve."