Food Safety Bill Could Trigger Budget Battle


 UPDATE   Since this article was posted on USA Today’s website, President Obama has signed the Food Safety Modernization Act.

The following article is from USA Today:

President Obama plans to sign the biggest overhaul of food safety regulations in more than seven decades today, but the estimated $1.4 billion price tag could trigger a budget battle with the new Republican House.

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., incoming chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told Bloomberg News he may seek to trim back the package during budget time.

Reports Bloomberg:

The measure, passed by Congress last month, gives the FDA more power to police domestic and international producers. It authorizes more inspections, requires most food companies to develop hazard prevention plans and gives the agency the ability to force recalls of tainted products. Implementing the law would cost about $1.4 billion over five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

“There’s a high possibility of trimming this whole package back,” Kingston said yesterday in a telephone interview. “While it’s a great re-election tool to terrify people into thinking that the food they’re eating is unsafe and unsanitary, and if not for the wonderful nanny-state politicians we’d be getting sick after every meal, the system we have is doing a darn good job.”

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said she will work closely with Congress to put the new law in place.

Writing on the White House web site, Hamburg said the Food Safety Modernization Act will improve “the security and safety of our nation’s food supply:”

Each year, foodborne illness strikes 48 million Americans, hospitalizing a hundred thousand and killing thousands. I thank the President and members of Congress for recognizing that the burden that foodborne illness places on the American people is too great, and for taking this action.

The historic legislation the President will sign tomorrow directs the Food and Drug Administration, working with a wide range of public and private partners, to build a new system of food safety oversight – one focused on applying, more comprehensively than ever, the best available science and good common sense to prevent the problems that can make people sick.


Source:  USA Today

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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