Senate Committee Boosts FDA Budget by $50 Million

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WASHINGTON—To help implement the recently passed Food Safety Modernization Act, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Sept. 7 advanced a spending bill that would boost the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) budget by more than $50 million than its current budget for the upcoming year. The Senate bill does not include the cuts to FDA's food safety program which were in the House version.

The fiscal year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill provides $2.497 billion for FDA, compared to $2.447 billion in FY 2011. FDA is the only non-security agency to receive increased funding in the bill, which takes into consideration the government's responsibilities to protect public health and safety, especially in the areas of food, drugs, medical devices and biologics.

The FY 2012 bill provides the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) $1.007 billion, the same level as FY 2011. The bill includes the full funding requested in the budget for federal, state and international inspection activities, and will allow the FSIS to continue modernizing its workforce and improving food-safety systems.

"These cuts are real and are difficult to implement, but that is the will of the Congress and the charter of this Committee," said Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI), during mark up of the agricultural budget bill. "Together with the funding reductions approved for fiscal year 2011, the Congress has cut the administration's request for these two years by more than $157 billion. This makes our funding recommendations the largest reduction by Congress of any President's requests in history over this two year period."

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