GOP cuts hurt environment, advocate says

April 6, 2011 at 9:38 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- "Ideological" cuts in the Republican budget mean Americans' access to supplies of safe food and water is in jeopardy, Food and Water Watch said.

Bipartisan bickering over budget measures threatens to close many U.S. government functions by the end of the week. Food and Water Watch said lawmakers are likely to cut food and water protection, to the detriment of public health, in whatever budget emerges from the crisis.

"These cuts are ideological in nature and a close look shows that they are bad for not only our health, but also the economy," Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, said in a statement. "There will be more food in the system but less people to inspect it."

The advocacy group said it examined the budget proposal offered by U.S. House of Representatives leaders. About 2 percent of the cuts target funds for the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency's program to monitor water supplies. Other cuts would hinder food inspections and could leave water and sewage mains vulnerable.

"Cutting food and water protections is not worth the risk to our health or our economy," Hauter said.

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