Funding to Implement Food Safety Law in US is Far below Expected Requirement

Published Date : Apr 07, 2015

After many people got sickened by contaminated peanut butter, eggs, and spinach, the U.S. Congress passed a comprehensive food safety law in the year 2010 that gave the Food and Drug Administration fresh authority to avert additional outbreaks. But the policymakers have not given enough funds to complete the mission.

The Congressional Budget Office stated the F.D.A. would require a total amount of US$580 million between 2011 and 2015 to perform the changes needed by the Food Safety Modernization Act. Till now, the Congress has provided mere half of the total amount, even as the agency is shifting to issue critical regulation under this law in 2015.

Every year, around 48 million American citizens get sickened due to contaminated food, and the agency officials tell that the funding deficit could weaken the Congress’s intention to make remarkable improvements in the food safety system in over 70 years.

A representative, Ms. Rosa DeLauro, who is a Connecticut Democrat and had assisted in writing the law, stated that the parent agency of the F.D.A., that are Department of Health and Human Services and the White House, have shared some of the blame for the deficit because they had attempted to enforce the user fees on the food industry in the U.S. to help in funding the law. The F.D.A. depends on the user fees for a number of different programs.

In its past 5 budget requests, the F.D.A. proposed the user fees, which would cover the major cost for implementing the food safety law. In the previous year, it requested for US$263 million for this law, with around US$229 million coming from the fees on food supplying enterprises.