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Schumer fights USDA funding cut amid bird flu outbreak

WASHINGTON – Amid a dramatic increase in egg prices stemming from the outbreak of bird flu, Sen. Charles E. Schumer said Wednesday that he’s fighting a proposed cut to U.S. Department of Agriculture research funding.

“Congress is looking to cut $500 million from the USDA’s budget to help beat back the bird flu that caused this shortage and price increase in the first place,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a conference call with reporters. “It defies logic that Congress would cut funding to help our farmers prevent this outbreak from spreading in the midst of a national agriculture crisis.”

Schumer said that many grocers throughout Upstate New York – including Tops and Wegmans – have reported egg price increases of 35 to 40 percent over the last month as the bird flu outbreak has led farmers to cull their flocks, thereby creating an egg shortage.