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Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 – Continued

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD
SENATE
PAGE S13997
Nov. 5, 2003

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 - Continued

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I again express my appreciation to Chairman BENNETT and Senator KOHL for their assistance in developing the Fiscal Year 2004 Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill and their ongoing assistance to the Cranberry farmers in Massachusetts who are facing economic difficulties. I would like to express my support for the comments made by Senator KENNEDY regarding funding for Cranberry research in the Fiscal Year 2004 Agriculture appropriations conference report. This important research will develop new technologies to help improve yields of cranberry bogs and help these farmers maintain their livelihood. I look forward to working with the Managers of this legislation to make sure this program receives funding in the Conference Report. I appreciate the Managers' attention to this matter.

Mr. KOHL. Since Wisconsin is also one of the top-producing cranberry states in the country, I recognize the need to support innovative research within this industry. I will continue to work with Senator KENNEDY and Senator KERRY on this issue, and I will do what I can to be of assistance.

FUNDING FOR SEAFOOD SAFETY

Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I commend Chairman BENNETT and Senator KOHL for their effective work on the Agriculture appropriations bill. I particularly commend Senator KOHL for his help in obtaining $422,000 for Seafood Safety in Massachusetts. I'm hopeful that two worthwhile research programs—the Safe Seafood Project at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and the Center for Marine Phytoremediation Technologies at Northeastern University will be funded in the Fiscal Year 2004 Agriculture appropriations conference report.

In recent years, the Department of Agriculture, through the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Services, has awarded grants to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst for their work on the Safe Seafood Project. The goal of this project is to provide useful, science-based recommendations to enhance the seafood industry's potential for producing safe, economically viable products. It is essential for the project to receive funding again this year in order to continue its essential work on seafood quality and health.

Northeastern University is also an impressive research university on marine issues. Funding will be used by the Center for Marine Phytoremediation Technologies to develop techniques employing marine plants to eliminate pollutants that result from fish aquaculture, as well as toxic materials found in our waters, such as mercury and TNT. The Center will also establish methods for restoring seagrass habitats where they have been destroyed.

We know that waste from the increasing number of fish aquaculture facilities leads to the production of harmful algae and the destruction of other marine life. If these problems continue, the fish aquaculture industry cannot be sustained, since it will cause greater risks in eating fish, and also endanger seagrass habitats, which are critical to the coastal economy of many states.

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the efforts of Chairman BENNETT and Senator KOHL for their work in developing the Fiscal Year 2004 Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill. Their work is especially noteworthy because of the difficult authorization level set by the Budget Resolution. I would like to express my support for the comments made by Senator KENNEDY regarding the Center of Marine Phytoremediation Technologies at Northeastern University. The Center has developed a proposal which I believe is an important opportunity to develop new technologies and help eliminate pollutants from fish aquaculture. This research can help the marine life in our oceans and eliminate pollutants from the seafood we enjoy. It is my hope that Senator KENNEDY and I could work with the Manager's of this legislation to make sure that these important programs receive funding in the Fiscal Year 2004 Agriculture appropriations conference report.

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