F.D.A. Alliance seeks to increase F.D.A. funding

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration Alliance believes the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture’s allocation of $1.7 billion for the F.D.A.’s fiscal year 2008 budget is insufficient to fully fund the consumer protection agency’s efforts.

"The House Subcommittee has taken an important first step by increasing F.D.A. funding by 7.7% ($121.5 million) over the FY 2007 funding," said Wayne Pines, president of the F.D.A. Alliance. "However, there is a critical need for the agency to receive $2 billion in FY 2008 budget authority, plus user fees, to restore the capacity that the F.D.A. had in FY 2003, just five years ago."

The alliance is recommending $2 billion in fiscal 2008 budgeted authority and appropriations, which is an increase of $450 million compared with the current fiscal year’s level. The alliance issued its decision based on findings that since fiscal 2003, the F.D.A.’s budget has lost 20% of its buying power, and the alliance believes a $2 billion budget will restore the F.D.A. appropriations back to the fiscal 2003 operational level. The alliance said it believes the F.D.A. has the ability to enter into contracts and hire new personnel to use the additional $450 million effectively.

"F.D.A. has long suffered from inadequate staffing and resources," said Don Kennedy, former F.D.A. commissioner from 1977 to 1979. "It is clear from our meetings with House members that they recognize F.D.A.’s important role in the lives of Americans. They have heard the voice advocating for increased F.D.A. funding and know there is a dire need for funding beyond the levels adopted."

The F.D.A. alliance was formed in April 2006 and currently has more than 100 members advocating for increased appropriated funding for the F.D.A.

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