On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies approved and announced a $145.1 billion appropriations bill to support federal agriculture and nutrition programs in fiscal year (FY) 2019.
This bill supports various parts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including food safety. The subcommittee has listed the following as some of the highlights from the approved bill:
• Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) – $1.049 billion, a $7.5 million reduction form the FY 2018 enacted level. The bill fully funds the food safety and inspection programs that ensure safe and healthy food for American families. The bill promotes the safety and productivity of the nation’s $186 billion meat and poultry industry by supporting more than 8,000 frontline inspection personnel for meat, poultry, and egg products at more than 6,400 facilities in the U.S. The bill provides full funding for FSIS to implement Siluriformes fish and fish product inspection. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – $2.97 billion in discretionary funding for the FDA, $159 million over the FY 2018 enacted level. Overall, total FDA funding, including user fee revenues, is $5.4 billion, which is $292 million above FY 2018. The bill provides $15 million for food safety initiatives.
• Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – $1.004 billion for APHIS, $262 million above the budget request and $18.4 million above the FY 2018 enacted level. Overall funding will continue programs to control or eradicate plant and animal pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture production. The bill provides investments in the science program for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and also provides increases to address pre-departure inspections of agriculture imports and tree pests.
• Agricultural Research – $2.73 billion to support agricultural research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This amount includes $405 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, a $5 million increase over FY 2018. Formula research funding for land-grant universities is maintained at FY 2018 enacted levels. The bill also rejects proposed extramural research project terminations and laboratory closures included in the budget request.
The bill is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Committee on Appropriations some time today.
See the Senate Subcommittee’s announcement in its entirety at Appropriations.Senate.gov.