Funding Needed to Make Food Safety a Reality

Jan 19, 2011   

Now that the Food Safety Modernization Act has been signed into law, lawmakers face the added challenge of funding the efforts that will make food safety reform a reality. This funding is critical, as the Act has shifted the focus of the FDA from one of reaction to prevention.

Previously, the laws and strategy administered by the Agency primarily focused on the ability to swiftly respond to outbreaks by limiting the ability of contaminated food to reach consumers once cases of food borne illness were identified. This strategy allowed the FDA to focus its limited resources on enforcement and limiting the spread of contamination, rather than preventing these cases in the first instance.

As we previously reported, the Food Safety Modernization Act includes a number of provisions that will change the way the FDA approaches food safety measures. This will include increased inspections and mandatory recall authority. However, with all of this added power and the shift in focus from reaction to prevention, Congress has yet to provide increased funding for the measures. Lawmakers will likely take on this challenge in 2011, and these funding efforts will be critical for the goals of food safety reform to be realized.

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