Less than 2 weeks ago, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to ask for $5.1 billion from President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget--8 percent more than the previous fiscal year’s budget. Now, more details have been released about spending specifically for food safety.
President Obama’s FY 2017 Budget Request proposes additional resources that include an increase of $25.3 million of new budget authority to implement the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). These funds will focus on two very key areas:
National Integrated Food Safety System - $11.3 million
The portion of the funds will be used primarily to support state capacity to implement the produce safety rule by delivering education and technical assistance to farmers and providing ongoing compliance support and oversight.
New Import Safety Systems - $14.0 million
The priority will be implementing the Food Safety Verification Program rule, which makes importers responsible for ensuring that the foods they bring in from other countries are produced in a manner that is consistent with U.S. food safety standards.
The FDA has already begun making crucial steps in implementing FSMA, including:
- inspection modernization and associated FDA and state staff training
- guidance development, education and technical assistance for industry
- building state capacity to partner with FDA on FSMA implementation
- establishing an import safety system that addresses problems before food from other countries reaches the U.S. border
FSMA funding received through FY 2016 is enabling FDA to lay a strong foundation for the success of FSMA, but additional funding is needed to meet congressional and public expectations, primarily in the areas of produce safety and oversight of imported food.