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Advocacy at a Glance

June 26, 2020

Top-Line: CBER Director Peter Marks, MD will address the Alliance on July 8. The Friday Update will not be published on July 3 in observance of Independence Day. The House plans to markup all of their appropriations bills beginning on July 6, while appropriations bills remain stalled in the Senate. FDA announced it will roll out the blueprint for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety in the coming weeks. This week’s Analysis and Commentary discusses some of FDA’s responsibilities and the budget it requires to perform its critical public health mission.

Upcoming Webinar with CBER Director Peter Marks, MD. We are honored that Dr. Marks has accepted our invitation to speak on a special Alliance webinar, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on July 8. To sign-up to participate, please contact Reed Diskey. The event is limited to Alliance members and media. If you are not a member and would like to participate, please contact Steven Grossman.

House Still Plans to Move FY 21 Funding Bills Starting July 6. The House Appropriations Subcommittees continue to plan to mark up all 12 bills beginning Monday, July 6. The Agriculture/FDA bill is set for Subcommittee mark-up at 6:00 p.m. on July 6. The bill is scheduled for consideration by the full Committee on July 9. House action on all 12 bills is slated for the weeks of July 20 and 27, although specific dates have not yet been set. We continue to expect that multiple bills will be packaged together into “minibus” bills, but which bills will be combined in each minibus is not yet known.

Senate Effort to Move FY 21 Funding Bills Remains Stalled. As we told you last week, the consideration of Senate bills stalled after Senate Appropriations Chair Shelby complained that Ranking Member Leahy and other Democrats were trying to include provisions related to policing and to add some coronavirus funding. We understand that Senate markups are on hold indefinitely.

FDA Announces Getting Smarter about Food Safety: The Pandemic and Lessons Learned. FDA has announced (here) that in the coming weeks it

… will be rolling out the blueprint for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, which lays out how we will use technology and modern approaches over the next decade to strengthen the ways we approach the safety of the nation’s food supply, every day and in times of crisis.

FDA plans efforts to track and trace food products through emerging digital technologies; help to ensure that temperature control, cross contamination and other safety issues are considered; and with the establishment and support of what we call food safety cultures on farms, in food facilities, and at home.

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