The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires many deliverables from FDA, among them special reports and studies to be submitted to Congress.

The following statement by Michael R. Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, is provided on the report “Building Domestic Capacity to Implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act,” required by FSMA Section 110(a)(1), which has been submitted to Congress. The report requires that the Secretary submit to Congress a comprehensive report that identifies programs, practices and resources needed to promote the safety of the U.S. food supply.

The promise of FSMA to modernize the food safety system in the U.S. and to significantly reduce the burden of foodborne illness cannot be realized without additional funding. Rules can be written but they can’t be implemented effectively and efficiently with current funding. For example, investments are needed to provide guidance and technical assistance to industry, train federal and state inspectors, modernize and strengthen the inspection program to ensure quality and consistency nationwide, and implement a new import oversight system that ensures the safety of imported food and creates a level playing field for the U.S. food industry.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the first five years of FSMA implementation would require an increase of $583 million over FDA’s 2010 base budget. In the FY 2011 and 2012 FDA budgets, Congress added a total of $100 million to the base budget. We estimate that FDA will need an additional $400 million to $450 million in funds added to its FY 2012 base to make FSMA a fully successful initiative. This investment will provide a significant return in terms of improved food safety for consumers, fewer costly disruptions for industry, and a stronger foundation for trade in safe food.

The President’s 2014 budget proposal, if enacted, would make a significant contribution to funding FSMA implementation.

The complete report is available in PDF, Building Domestic Capacity to Implement the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act (PDF: 1.1MB).