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WASHINGTON, DC— Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement inresponse to the passage by the United States House of Representatives of the FDAReauthorization bill. "This bill will help every single American every single day as it is about the safety of allof our food and our prescription drugs. Hardly a day goes by without a new report ofAmerican families put at risk by unsafe foods, improperly tested imports, or dangerousside effects of powerful prescription drugs. FDA should be the gold standard for assuringthe safety of American families, but that standard has become dangerously tarnished.The legislation that the House approves today will help FDA once again do the job thatAmerican consumers are counting on it to do to protect their health. This bill will give FDA urgently needed new resources, strengthen FDA's ability toprotect consumers from dangerous drugs, provide important incentives to develop drugsfor children, safeguard the food we give our families and feed to our pets, help reduce thecost of medicine by ending abusive practices that deny consumers access to genericdrugs, and address many other urgent priorities that face the nation. This is not a perfect bill, and compromises were made to assure its passage. I amparticularly disappointed that the House rejected two important measures in the pediatricprogram, by failing to make permanent the authority to require clinical studies forpediatric populations, and by not including measures to see that rewards forpharmaceutical companies were proportionate to the expenditures required. But after somany recent instances in which Americans have been harmed by unsafe prescriptiondrugs and contaminated food, America cannot afford inaction on this importantmeasure.” ###