Proposed FDA Budget Cuts May Threaten Food Safety Modernization Act; FDA Schedules Unrelated June 6 FSMA Meeting

May 26, 2011

The $285 million in budget cuts would mark an 11.5% reduction from FDA’s budget this fiscal year.

House Republications have proposed $285 million in cuts to FDA’s 2012 fiscal budget-cuts that could largely threaten the agency’s implementation of the new Food Safety Modernization Act, which became law in January, reported Food Safety News.

The $285 million in budget cuts would mark an 11.5% reduction from FDA’s budget this fiscal year.

By contrast, Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, has stated that FDA needs increased funds to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act.

“There’s no question that to implement what really is a whole new food safety system that Congress has outlined in this law we’ve got to make some investments above our current funding,” Taylor stated. “It does mean getting some meaningful increases over the next few years to get our base up above where it is today.”

Under the GOP’s proposal, the USDA budget would also be cut by $35 million. However, a subcommittee noted that funding would still “continue critical meat, poultry, and egg product inspection and testing activities, and supports an expansion of a poultry inspection pilot project that will lead to improving food safety.”

In the meantime, FDA has scheduled a June 6 meeting on implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act, to discuss inspections and compliance.

"The public will have an opportunity to provide information and share views that will inform FDA's FSMA implementation strategies relative to enforcement authorities; frequency and targeting of facility inspections; manner of inspection in a preventive controls environment; and improving the reportable food registry (RFR)," the agency notes.