The Food and Drug Administration is seeking a 17% increase in its budget, with the agency listing food safety and Chinese imports amongst its strategic targets.
The budget proposal, which will cover the period from 1 October 2012 to 30 September 2013, includes through the Transforming Food Safety Initiative that aims to “build a strong, reliable food safety system”.
“Our budget increases are targeted to strategic areas that will help speed the availability of new medical products, address the challenges of increased globalization and allow FDA to fulfill its public health duties more efficiently,” said Margaret Hamburg, MD, FDA commissioner.
“With FDA-regulated products accounting for about a quarter of each dollar that Americans spend, these budget priorities will benefit patients and consumers and strengthen our economy.”
With almost 48 million Americans falling sick every year due to foodborne diseases, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, the initiative will help the Agency to implement “a sustainable, multi-year, multi-pronged approach to fulfill the requirements of [the Food Safety Modernization Act] FSMA.
“FDA is organizing its FY 2013 budget request to support and expand the activities that FDA began in FY 2011 and continued during FY 2012 to implement and enforce FSMA.
“These investments are modest compared to the economic value of the nation’s food and feed supplies and the costs that industry, government, and the health care system experience during an outbreak.
“The complexity and diversity of the American food supply has grown dramatically during the past generation. As FSMA recognizes, the food safety issues that the nation faces are complex and diverse.”
The budget proposal also includes $10m to enhance collaboration with Chinese food safety counterparts and increase its presence in the country.
As reported by our sister site, FoodQualityNews.com, China contributes a “large and growing volume of imported food and food ingredients.”
“With this FY 2013 initiative, FDA will increase its capacity to detect and address risks of food and food ingredients manufactured in China and to assure that these products do not result in harm to Americans,” said the Fiscal Year (FY) Food and Drug Administration Congressional Justification document.