Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has called for providing the FDA with the funds it needs to fully implement the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA). The Senate appropriations committee passed a bill that fell short of the monies needed. The vote was along party lines.
Durbin said that the huge recall of Aspen Foods and Barber Foods that are linked to two Salmonella outbreaks in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma highlights the need for increased vigilance. “The food safety allocation in this bill falls short of what is needed to reduce foodborne illness in this country,” he said in a statement.
The Food and Drug Administration estimates that it will take $276 million in additional funding to properly implement FSMA. The President’s budget requested an increase of 109.5 million over FY15 to help close this funding gap. That money would have been used to retrain thousands of FDA inspectors in the new oversight system, provide technical assistance to 300,000 stakeholders, and build a new food import system. The spending bill approved by the Republicans included only $45 million in additional funding for FSMA.