Amendment to boost F.D.A. funding

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced it is amending its budget request for fiscal year 2009 to include an additional $275 million for the Food and Drug Administration.

"Combined with crucial legislative proposals, this increase will allow F.D.A. to continue to transform its regulatory strategies to meet the challenges of the evolving global marketplace," said Mike Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services. "I urge Congress to act quickly to give F.D.A. the authority and funding it needs to enhance the safety of our food and medical products."

The increase would bring the total proposed increase in the F.D.A.’s budget for fiscal year 2009 to $404.7 million, up 18% from the previous year.

The budget increase includes $125 million to help protect America’s food supply, allowing the F.D.A. to reduce threats to the food supply, expand international presence, increase technical assistance and improve the risk-based approach it uses to conduct more targeted import exams and foreign and domestic inspections of food manufacturing, process and packaging facilities.

The funds will also help implement previously outlined strategies for import safety and food protection.

"Last year we outlined important changes in how this nation deals with imports," Mr. Leavitt said. "We are moving from an intervention strategy — where we stand at the border and try to catch things that are unsafe — to an integrated strategy of prevention with verification. We are rolling the borders back and seeking to build safety and quality into products at every step of the way before they reach American consumers."

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