Funding of Food Safety Bill is an Issue

By Ken Anderson, Brownfield

Food safety advocates were thrilled with the recent passage of the food safety bill. But some in Congress are wondering where funding for the legislation will come from.

The bill was estimated to cost more than one-point-four billion dollars over the next five years, with most of that spending coming in 2014 and 2015 after a phase-in period for the new regulations. The bill authorizes the FDA to hire nearly 18-thousand new field staff. And some point out that the FDA’s budget for food regulation has nearly doubled over the last four years to more than 800 million dollars.

Iowa Representative Tom Latham (Lay-thum), who sits on the House agricultural appropriations subcommittee that controls the budget of FDA, says we simply don’t have the money to pay for it. However, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a member of the agricultural appropriations subcommittee in the Senate—and a strong advocate for the legislation—says he will push for funding.

Read more here.