The US FDA is experiencing insufficient funding to carry out the steps required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2010 (see IBO 12/31/10). According to the Congressional Budget Office, the FDA would have needed $580 million to do this from 2011 to 2015. However, less than half of the amount has been appropriated. Most of the funding for the law had been expected to come from user fees, which have failed to gain Congressional approval after lobbying from the food industry. The FDA is planning to publish new regulations improving the FSMA this year. The lack of funds has hindered the process of modernizing inspection, overseeing food imports and providing assistance to states performing inspections. According to the law, the FDA is required to inspect twice the number of foreign food plants each year as it had the previous year, beginning with 600 in the law’s first year. Of the 4,800 it should have inspected in 2014, the agency inspected only 1,323. The FDA requested $109.5 million for the coming year to help meet the new requirements. The FDA’s appropriation for the law this year is $27.5 million.

Source: New York Times

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