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FDA bolsters ranks by 1,300

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Associated Press / September 12, 2008
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WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday it has hired more than 1,300 professional staffers in a move officials hope will help the beleaguered agency better protect the public health amid rapid technological and scientific change.

"Every pay period, we have had more than 100 people walking through our doors," said Kimberly Holden, the senior manager directing the special recruitment initiative. "We have had some people who left to go into industry and ended up wanting to come back."

The staffing drive, launched five months ago, will result in an estimated 10 percent increase in the workforce. Holden said the hires will provide critical expertise after years of losing valuable medical and scientific people who took industry jobs or retired. The exodus came as the agency struggled with drug and food safety problems that damaged its reputation.

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