Washington D.C. — Against the backdrop of $54 billion in proposed cuts, the President’s budget strongly supports food safety by allocating full funding for the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the agency in charge of inspecting meat, poultry, catfish and egg products, and by recognizing the important role of USDA food safety research funding. However, large cuts in other programs appear likely to compromise food safety protections. In particular, the budget proposes a dramatic shift in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s funding from appropriations to industry user fees. Past proposals to offset appropriations with increased user fees have led to chronic underfunding at FDA and delayed implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Because of the enormous scale of the Administration’s proposed user fee increase, however, a corresponding reduction in appropriations would have much farther reaching impact. Safe food is a public good that benefits every American every day and needs to be supported by sufficient public funding.
We are hopeful that as the Administration and Congress work through the appropriations process and create a more detailed spending plan, they will reach a consensus on the importance of reliable funding for FDA and continued support for strong public funding of all agencies’ food safety responsibilities.
Contact: Thomas Gremillion, 202-939-1010
The Safe Food Coalition is made up of consumer, public health and victim groups who work on issues related to food, and organizations representing labor in the food industry.