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article imageU.S. FDA seeks $4.7 billion for food safety

By Tim Sandle     Apr 28, 2013 in Food
The U.S. FDA is seeking a budget of $4.7 billion to protect and promote the public health as part of the President’s fiscal year 2014 budget.
The FDA is seeking a budget increase to support the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which includes strengthening the FDA's ability to oversee imported food. The recent act provides authorities and mandates for the FDA to build a modern, prevention-focused domestic and imported food safety system to protect the health of American consumers.
The law gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to order recalls of contaminated food. This was passed during to growing concern about food relates illnesses. Approximately 48 million people, or 1 out of 6 people in the United States, will suffer from foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year according to CDC estimates summarized by USA Today.
Despite the Act having come into play in 2011, the FDA has been slow to implement it. This is something that the Agency is pinning on a lack of funds.
In particular, the FDA has, according to Food Safety News, yet to implement "a specific timetable for issuing" a process to create rule for science-based produce standards, has not completed rules for foreign supplier verification, and must still create a guidance that will help schools and childcare programs lessen allergy risks for school-age children.
The FDA acknowledges that securing the budget will be difficult. Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs is quoted by Controlled Environments as saying: "These are tight budget times, and the FDA budget request reflects this reality. Our budget increases are targeted to strategic areas that will benefit patients and consumers and overall strengthen our economy. Through the good work of the FDA, Americans will receive life-saving medicines approved as fast as or faster than anywhere in the world, confidence in the medical products they rely on daily, and a food supply that is among the safest in the world."
Whilst the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking a considerable increase in spending in relation to food safety, the Agency suggests that industry user fees should fund 94% of the proposed budget increase.
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