ABA, joined by 65 organizations, urged Health & Human Services and the Office of Budget Management that as they developed the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget request, to ask for adequate funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) food safety activities rather than proposing new user fees on consumers and food makers.
It is expected that FDA will require additional funds in FY 2017 in order to support food inspection activities and meet the upcoming implementation deadlines of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The coalition of food groups feels that the administration should seek all such funding through the congressional budget and appropriations process rather than asking for authorization of new regulatory taxes that Congress has already repeatedly rejected.
The coalition agrees that maintaining the safety of the foods produced by the food industry and retailers should remain a top national priority; however, it believes that federal food safety programs and inspections conducted by FDA should be funded through appropriated funds.
As consumers continue to cope with a period of prolonged economic recovery and food makers and retailers struggle with fluctuating commodity prices, the creation of new food taxes or regulatory fees would mean higher costs for food makers and lead to higher retail food prices for the most vulnerable consumers. As such, the coalition opposes new regulatory taxes on food makers and feels it is the wrong option for funding food safety programs. If food user fees continue to remain out of the President’s budget package, this could mean an annual savings of $186K per bakery.