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February 9, 2010

FDA receives budget increase for food safety

Last week, President Obama formally unveiled his proposed budget for the 2011 fiscal year, which starts in October.  Early reports indicated that the Obama administration would propose a freeze on discretionary spending for all government programs, with the exception of defense and mandatory entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid).  But at least one government agency, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), would receive a 30% increase for food safety efforts. From a Packer article:

. . . “We’re pleased to see that FDA will see some additional money,” said Kathy Means, vice president of government relations and public affairs for the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association.

In the budget summary, the agency said the food safety budget tallies $1.4 billion, $327 million more than fiscal year 2010.

FDA will set standards for safety, expand laboratory capacity, pilot track and trace technology, strengthen our import safety program, improve data collection and risk analysis and begin to establish an integrated national food safety system with strengthened inspection and response capacity,” according to the document.

Apparently this funding increase will help the FDA perform more food inspections and employ other mechanisms to secure the Nation’s food supply chain. According to the budget summary:

. . . [the] FDA will focus greater efforts and resources on the science-based prevention of food-borne illness, strengthening surveillance and enforcement through more frequent and targeted inspections, and improving response and recovery from outbreaks of food-related illnesses.

Link to the budget summary on the Health & Human Services website.

Link to the Produce Marketing Association, a large, non-for-profit global trade association representing companies that market fresh produce.

This post was prepared by William Mitchell College of Law student Chris Zielinski.  Mr. Zielinski is a student of Professor Donna M. Byrne.

February 9, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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