December 11, 2016

Vilsack and OMB Say Sequestration Threatens Food Safety

On February 8, 2013, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said that sequestration will affect the nation's food safety. If Congress fails to act, on March 1, 2013 budget cuts go into effect across the board in the United States. "Across-the-board cuts for virtually every agency, every line item of every agency," will occur, he stated. "The effects will be extraordinary." He continued, "it is likely, if sequester is triggered, that in our food safety area we will have to furlough workers for a period of a couple of weeks. Now you say, well, you know, everybody gets a couple weeks' vacation. The problem is, as soon as you take an inspector off the floor, that plant shuts down, so it's not just the inspectors, it's the hundreds of thousands of people who are in the processing business. … [Read more...]

OMB, FDA Finally Release Two Food Safety Modernization Act Rules

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has finally released two proposed food safety rules that are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Four crucial rules have been held back for more than a year after they were to be implemented. The Food Safety Moderization Act (FSMA) was signed into law almost two years ago. The first rule is Controls for Human Food. The new rule requires that most human food facilities have a written plan that evaluates hazards that are likely to occur in that food, specifies the steps that will be used to minimize or prevent those hazards, and specify how the controls will be monitored. In addition, the facility will be required to maintain routine records of the monitoring, and specify the actions that will be taken when problems arise. Planning and … [Read more...]

OMB Releases Report on Effects of Sequestration

On Friday September 14, 2012, the White House Office of Budget and Management (OMB) released a report on the possible effects of sequestration on food safety, Medicare, FBI, FAA, and education. Sequestration is the across-the-board cuts that will kick in if Congress does not pass a deficit reduction bill by early January 2013. The cuts are part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that was signed into law after the debt ceiling crisis in August 2011. The White House states that "the sequestration itself was never intended to be implemented." It was supposed to be a way to prod Congress into action. While there is still time for Congress to put a plan in place, House Republicans announced last week that the House will be in recess until November 13, 2012. The report states that, "no … [Read more...]

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