Senate coughs up $50 million for FDA food safety efforts

Senate appropriators cut the budget for the Agriculture Department on Wednesday, leaving meat inspection funding flat, but added $50 million for the Food and Drug Administration to staff up with a few food-safety inspectors.

The Senate Appropriations bill provides $19.78 billion for USDA for fiscal 2012, a decrease of $138 million from this year. It gives FDA $2.497 billion, up from $2.447 billion in fiscal 2011.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, which monitors the nation's meat supply, would receive $1.007 billion, the same amount as last year.

The proposal is aimed at helping FDA implement the recently passed Food Safety Modernization Act, which would give FDA unprecedented authority over both domestic and foreign food products.

The House version of the bill, approved 217-203 in June, would cut FDA's budget by $285 million, or 11 percent. This includes an $87 million cut to food safety, and a $35 million cut to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, which is responsible for meat, poultry, and processed-egg inspection.

According to food-safety advocates, the budget cuts approved by the House would hinder FDA's ability to meet many requirements of the food-safety act. Congress passed the legislation after a series of high-profile food-poisoning incidents, including a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2009 that killed nine people and sickened thousands.

Funding food-safety reform is crucial, said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., because under current regulations, FDA does not have the resources to do much good.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food poisoning sickens 48 million people each year in the U.S., puts 128,000 into the hospital, and kills 3,000.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.