Ahead of Thursday’s coinciding congressional hearings on budgets for the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent a letter to their colleagues, asking them to support “robust” food-safety funding. “We ask that the [Senate Appropriations] Subcommittee provide robust funding for food safety activities to continue efforts to reduce the risk of food-borne illness,” they wrote. “The safety of our nation’s food supply is of concern to every American.” The request was that full funding go to FSIS “to ensure all human capital resources involved in critical ante-mortem inspections have received robust national training” and FDA’s  Office of Foods & Veterinary Medicine receive additional funds “towards the goal of implementing FSMA,” as well as the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), the Food Animal Residue Avoidance & Depletion (FARAD) and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., appears before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies at 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday. Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm and FSIS Deputy Administrator Phil Derfler are set to appear before the equivalent House subcommittee, also at 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday.