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Progress in food safety depends on increased FDA funding



Progress in food safety depends on increased FDA funding


By Steven Grossman, Executive Director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA

Consistent with the overall discretionary spending targets established in last year’s budget agreement, the President’s FY 25 budget request for the FDA is significantly lower than his FY 24 request. As a result, the entire FDA is at risk for another lean year in FY25.

For the already underfunded food safety programs at the FDA, this bodes particularly poorly just when new investments are needed most.

The multi-stakeholder Alliance for a Stronger FDA advocates on behalf of the entire stakeholder community. We just announced our FY 25 FDA funding “ask” (here), which provides Congress with insight into the FDA’s needs.

We call for a Budget Authority (BA; non-user fee) appropriation of $3.896 billion for salaries and expenses (S&E). This is $214 million more than the President’s budget request for FY 25 and $377 million more than the funding level for FY 24. While these numbers seem particularly large, this is partly because the agency needs $115 million in FY 24 to pay the mandatory wage increases.

Accordingly, the Alliance’s request for FY 25 focuses heavily on the program areas that require the most attention in FY 25 (which begins on October 1, 2024).

Working with Alliance members interested in food security from HFP, CFSAN, and CVM, we urged Congress to fund the following food-related programs:

  • Chemical food safety. A robust food/post-market chemical safety assessment program is an urgent need supported by a broad range of consumer and industry stakeholders, many of whom consider this their top food safety funding priority. Additional funding – well in excess of the President’s budget request – is needed to ensure rigorous and timely review of chemical and toxicology issues now before the agency, including twenty-one chemicals currently prioritized for reevaluation. Such reviews can take many months to complete, so there is an urgent need to get started and there is a need for substantial funding in FY25.
  • Rule implementation and prevention activities. The FDA, state partners and industry are currently working to implement the Traceability Rule and anticipate upcoming changes to agricultural water standards. This, combined with advances in the scientific understanding of the root causes of food contamination, makes it important for the FDA to maintain and expand efforts to work with state regulators and industry stakeholders to implement standards and practices that can improve food safety.
  • Collaboration with state and local governments. FDA’s cooperative relationships with state and local regulatory programs (including state human and animal food testing laboratories) have been extremely valuable and should be continued and made more predictable. In many cases, the agency achieves better coverage at lower costs through a state and local presence.
  • Establishment of a Nutrition Center of Excellence. The planned reorganization of the Human Foods Program includes the establishment of a Nutrition Center of Excellence. Given the relatively small size of the current nutrition program at the FDA, additional resources will be needed to realize the nutrition vision in the new organization. Priorities include children’s health, chronic diseases and consumer-oriented food labeling.
  • Improvements in the risk-based targeting of surveillance activities in food and animal health programs. As the agency restructures to establish new Human Foods programs, additional resources (advanced data systems, external data sets, and data scientists) are needed to create a data-driven foundation to conduct risk-based surveillance and surveillance activities in both human nutrition as food to improve. animal food and medicine. More substantial investments in FY 25 could also help accelerate work planning and data sharing with government regulatory partners.

For more information, visit the Alliance website:

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