FASEB Applauds RNC & DNC Platforms on Biomedical Research

From a press release out today, detailing the strong commitment from both parties to biomedical research.

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Office of Public Affairs • 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Md. 20814-3998 • http://opa.faseb.org/

Contact: Carrie D. Wolinetz, PhD
(301) 634-7650



Bethesda, MD - Amid the partisan volleys launched from Denver and St. Paul these last few weeks, party platforms emerged that agreed, strikingly, on one issue: the importance of biomedical research in the battle against disease. As the Republican Platform Committee stated, "Federal research dollars should be spent as though lives are at stake -- because, in fact, they are." A similar position was adopted by the Democratic Platform Committee, "For the millions of Americans and their families suffering from debilitating physical and emotional effects of disease, time is a precious commodity, and it is running out." In one voice, both parties pronounced their support for federally funded scientific research to improve health and cure disease.

FASEB President Richard B. Marchase, Ph.D., who has spearheaded the organization's outreach to the public and policymakers on science issues in conjunction with the Presidential election, applauded the work of the platform committees, "The platform statements are a welcome and necessary recognition that biomedical research is a national priority." Marchase previously stated when FASEB submitted testimony to the committees, "Including a declaration of support for federally funded scientific research in the 2008 platform statements is a crucial first step in fulfilling the promise of our national science agencies, and there is no better exemplar of that promise than the National Institutes of Health [NIH]."

The planks on biomedical research in each platform detail the benefits to health and the American economy. The DNC platform is explicit in the party's commitment to increase federal funding: "We need to invest in biomedical research...This includes adequate funding for research into diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, breast cancer, diabetes, autism and other common and rare diseases, and disorders. We will increase funding to the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the National Cancer Institutes."

The GOP also makes a moving and practical case for biomedical science: "We support federal investment in basic and applied biomedical research. This commitment will maintain America's global competitiveness, advance innovative science that can lead to medical breakthroughs, and turn the tide against diseases affecting millions of Americans -- diseases that account for the majority of our health care costs."

Both platform statements also recognize that scientific research and education at colleges and universities are key to American competitiveness in a 21st century economy, and call for renewed commitment to agricultural research.

Much of the language and message in each document echoed the testimony submitted by FASEB, noted Marchase, "This is one case where the voice of the community is being heard loud and clear." Marchase said that FASEB will continue to work with leaders in Congress to promote funding for NIH. He added that FASEB also looks forward to working with a new administration that shares FASEB's commitment to biomedical research.

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