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Proposed budget cuts may hinder FDA's food-safety regulation

Budget cuts proposed by US House Republicans to the US Food and Drug Administration would undermine the agency’s ability to carry out the food-safety legislation passed by Congress in December 2010, according to an article from the Washington Post.

President Obama is seeking US$955 million for food safety at FDA in the fiscal year that starts October 1. The US House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees FDA scaled back that amount to US$750 million, which is US$87 million less than the amount the agency is currently receiving for food safety.

Food safety advocates said that without additional money, FDA will not be able to meet many requirements of the new law, including increased inspections of food manufacturing plants, better coordination with state health departments, and developing the capacity to respond quicker to food-borne illnesses. The proposed budget cuts would also hinder the FDA’s ability to increase scrutiny of imported foods, according to Erik Olson, director of food and consumer product safety programs at the Pew Health Group.

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