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FARAD gets reprieve until spring
Washington -- The always-in-danger-of-closing Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD) garnered a few extra months of operation, but with drastic cutbacks.
-- The always-in-danger-of-closing Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD) garnered a few extra months of operation, but with drastic cutbacks.
FARAD was scheduled to shut down in October, but received $75,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and $50,000 from the Food and Drug Administration, which will keep operations running through the spring, according to Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Government Relations Divisions.
The AVMA has worked to secure funding for FARAD for several years lobbying Congress, the USDA and the FDA to support the databank, which is used by veterinarians, livestock producers and others in the food production business to ensure that drug, environmental and pesticide contaminants don't end up in meat, milk and eggs.
The infusion of funds mean FARAD will be able to continue manning the phones for those who call with questions, but several layoffs were made and the group is now operating with a skeletal crew, Lutschaunig says.
"It will keep going at a really reduced level for now," he says. "In the long-term, the funds FARAD received were not nearly enough for what it needs to keep going and keep functioning as an organization."