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The Food Safety line item sought to assist the FDA with the human food program



The Food Safety line item sought to assist the FDA with the human food program

A food safety rule in the federal budget would go a long way toward “bringing clarity and certainty” to the Food and Drug Administration’s human nutrition programs.

Appropriations leaders in the House and Senate are facing just such a lobbying approach from some 21 consumer and industry groups and state and local food safety agencies.

In letters to House and Senate leaders, proponents of the food safety line item call on elected officials to restructure the FDA’s human nutrition program to “streamline operations and better fulfill its mission of protecting food safety to fulfill.”

The letters seek a food safety rule in the FDA’s fiscal year 2025 budget. In this way, Congress can help modernize the human nutrition program.

Currently, the FDA’s budget calls for a $34 million cut to state and local programs, which would be reduced from current levels of over $117 million to $83 million. The cuts would “decimate” state and local programs.

Signatories to the letters include representatives from the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI); Association of American Forage Control Officers (AAFCO); Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO); Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL); Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO); Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI); Food Protection Conference (CFP); Consumer Brands Association (CBA); Consumer Federation of America; Consumer Report; FMI – The Food Industry Association, George Washington University; Milken Institute School of Public Health, International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA), Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC); National Association of Foreign Ministries of Agriculture (NASDA); National Conference of Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS); National Environmental Health Association (NEHA); Animal Nutrition Institute; Stop foodborne diseases and western growers.

Bipartisan appropriations leaders were urged to take advantage of the ongoing restructuring of the FDA’s human food program to streamline operations and better fulfill the mission of protecting food safety. The groups believe that while many of the proposed changes will strengthen the FDA’s ability to ensure the safety of our food supply, Congress can help modernize the human nutrition program by bringing clarity and certainty to the FDA’s budget. agency.

The letters further explained that despite the critical role that state and local food agencies play, these agencies often lack the budgetary security necessary to operate effectively, leading to challenges in hiring and retaining enough well-trained staff.

Although increased funding since passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act has significantly increased the ability of state and local agencies to fulfill their food safety mission, the FDA often diverts funds intended for state and local agencies to pursue other priorities , while providing little to no warning to affected agencies.

Further, the groups believe that a “consistent and predictable funding mechanism for state and local programs is needed. Therefore, it urged that the budget allocation for the FDA include a line item describing specific funding for State and local food safety issues, to ensure that State and local programs have the budgetary certainty necessary to carry out their work to feed.

The letters to the leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate can be found in their entirety here:

Senate Letter

Letter to the House of Representatives

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