President's Budget for Food Safety at FDA is Good News for Consumers, Says CSPI

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President Obama's proposed budget for the Food and Drug Administration includes a welcome increase in funding for food safety, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at FDA would receive an additional $84 million to begin implementing programs for preventing some of the 48 million foodborne illnesses that occur each year. The budget calls for the center's appropriation to increase from $903 million to $987 million.

"Making the promise of FSMA a reality requires giving FDA the resources it needs to actually conduct more inspections and carry out the science that is critical to understanding and combating foodborne diseases," David Plunkett, senior staff attorney for food safety at CSPI said. "We are pleased to see the President has put forward a positive budget for protecting consumers from preventable foodborne diseases."

Budgets in recent years have included modest increases to implement provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act, but this is the first significant increase to carry out its core prevention programs.

Importantly, the Administration is also proposing to consolidate the food-safety functions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the food safety functions of the FDA and bring them all under the Department of Health and Human Services. Last week Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced legislation that would consolidate food safety but at a new, independent agency.

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).