Associations and manufacturers ask Congress to fully fund FSMA

Dive Brief:

  • More than 24 major food companies and trade associations sent a letter to members of Congress writing the 2018 budget to keep appropriate funding for the Food Safety Modernization Act, according to Food Safety News.
  • Signatories included the American Bakers Association, American Frozen Food Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, The International Bottled Water Association, National Fisheries Institute, The Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association.
  • The letter called FSMA "the cornerstone of our nation's food safety strategy." It says, “Consumer confidence in our companies and associations and in our brands is the foundation of everything we do and the reason we invest our reputations and resources in producing safe products."

Dive Insight:

The Food and Drug Administration establishes regulatory requirements and guidance for assuring that food is safe and not adulterated. It’s the responsibility of state, local and county public health and agriculture departments to assist the FDA in carrying out these responsibilities by conducting state inspections of food establishments, laboratory analyses of foods, and by taking enforcement action when violations result in unacceptable risk to the public. 

The Food Safety Modernization Act, signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011, enables the FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. The USDA also does a great deal when it comes to food safety, including inspections.

Based on early analysis from the proposed budget, there are no indications right now that FSMA is going to lose funding. While President Trump’s proposal specifically said the Food Safety and Inspection Service will be fully funded, it does not give any details about the food safety contingent of the FDA.

However, the federal budgetary process is a collaborative one. Congress will have the opportunity to make significant changes to the president's spending priorities, shifting focus and dollars to initiatives they find more important. And a pre-emptive plea on behalf of the manufacturers, agencies and companies is not a bad idea.

Food safety has been largely out of the policy spotlight during the Trump presidency, which could bode well for FSMA funding. Congressional budgetary fights may be more likely to take place over agencies and programs Trump proposes will be losing large amounts of money — of which there are several.

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Filed Under: Manufacturing Food Safety Policy