Posted April 8, 2014
The FDA needs increased funding in FY 2015 to completely implement rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), according to an Agri-Pulse article available here.
FDA Administrator Margaret Hamburg recently told a Senate panel that the current FY 2014 funding levels would allow the agency to issue the FSMA regulations, but “without increased funding it will be impossible to implement the rules.”
Hamburg testified that the overall FDA budget request includes a “modest” 8 percent increase.  The “administration is requesting $4.74 billion for the total program level, which is $358 million above the FY 2014 enacted level.  Of the total funding, $2.58 billion is in budget authority and $2.16 billion in user fees.  The FY 2015 increase consists of $23 million in budget authority and $335 million in user fees.”
The growth in user fee funding “stems from several new programs, along with increased collection authority for many of FDA’s existing programs.”
Hamburg testified that an increased budget authority would allow FDA to develop guidance and provide technical assistance for industry, “provide technical support for FDA inspectors, and begin to implement training for FDA and state inspectors.”
Hamburg also said “if the proposed user fee revenue is authorized and appropriated, the agency will be able to undertake a wider array of activities needed to fulfill the goals of the FSMA, including retraining of the federal and state inspection force, training and technical assistance for small and mid-size growers and processors, and building a modern import oversight system mandated by FSMA.”
Industry participants hope the FSMA rules will not duplicate marketing agreements and orders, according to an article by Food Safety News available here.  In comments to the FSMA proposed rule for produce safety, several industry associations asked the FDA to look at programs that already exist under federal and state marketing orders such as the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement.


For more information on the FSMA and food safety, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.