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Advocacy at a Glance

June 22, 2015

Advocacy at a Glance offers you the bullet point summary of current advocacy issues associated with the goals of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

  • House Ag/FDA Appropriations Subcommittee Marks-Up FY 16 Bill. In the subcommittee bill, FDA would gain an overall BA appropriations increase of $30 million, with a strong tilt toward funds for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. For more details, as well as discussion of some of the unknowns about center allocations, please read this week’s Analysis and Commentary.
  • Food Safety Update from FDA’s Michael Taylor. At an Alliance forum this week, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor told participants that FDA requires significant funding increases in order to implement the changes mandated by FSMA. He cited three areas in particular where money is needed:
    • Specialized Inspectors. Additional funding will be used to deploy inspectors who are specialized in specific food commodities rather than covering a broad range of FDA-regulated products.
    • Enhancing Scientific Expertise.  Additional resources are required to recruit experts who can ensure that guidance development is based on the best science and knowledge of industry practices.
    • State Partnerships. FDA needs increased funding to provide financial support to state agencies and public-private efforts.  State partnerships play a key role in implementing FSMA.
  • Senate Minority Leader Reid Calls for Full FSMA Funding. As reported by Food Safety News:

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) urged Congress to fully fund the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in his remarks Tuesday on the floor of the U.S. Senate. “Unfortunately for many Americans, falling ill from contaminated food has become all too regular,” Reid said. “Current funding levels don’t provide the resources necessary to adequately fund programs to stop food contamination.”

  • Congressional Recess Coming. The House and Senate have one more week of floor and committee action before the Fourth of July recess (June 29 to July 7). When they return, the House will be in DC until July 30 and the Senate is in until August 10, at least that’s what the official calendars say. The House will be attempting to pass all of the remaining appropriations bills during July. In contrast, timing in the Senate is uncertain because Democrats are trying to force negotiations on overall spending and budget caps before they complete all of the appropriations bills.

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