Franken: Trump budget cuts to NIH would be detrimental to Hormel - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Franken: Trump budget cuts to NIH would be detrimental to Hormel Institute

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AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -

Senator Al Franken visited Hormel Institute to tour the research facilities in Austin on Wednesday, and to hear how President Trump's proposed budget cuts could impact them.

Franken's staff has been conducting a series of "community listening sessions" across Minnesota to discuss the impacts of the president's proposed policy changes and cutbacks.

Senator Franken got to tour the institute while researchers with Hormel Institute talked to him about the advancements they've achieved with research and their technology.

After that, the Senator sat down with local leaders and heard their concerns about various possible cuts to federal programs, the Hormel Institute and how cuts could affect the community.

"The president's budget has a very big cut in NIH funding, which would be very detrimental to the research being done here," said Franken. "Detrimental to employment here in Austin, detrimental to science, detrimental to patients."

During his talks with local experts, he called the proposed cuts "almost an existential threat to science."  Institute officials talked about how mortality rates went down thanks to the research, and how treatments are less toxic now.

"If people lose their grants, they lose their jobs," said Dr. Ann Bode, Associate Director-Professor of the Hormel Institute-University of Minnesota.

The Hormel Institute said the President's proposed federal budget cuts would have a huge impact on cancer research efforts, their scientists, communities, families, businesses and organizations.

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