The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked for a budget of $4.7 billion to protect and promote the public health as part of the President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget, which was released last week.
The agency said industry user fees would fund 94 percent of the proposed budget increase, including new fees to support the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and strengthen the FDA’s ability to oversee imported food.
“The president’s budget proposes a fee to be paid by food importers that would both improve the safety of the food supply as well as ensure the smooth and predictable entry of safe foods into the United States, thus enhancing trade by domestic and overseas trading partners,” FDA said.
The remainder of the budget increases would support programs which are necessary to preserve the safety of medical products and meet the agency’s growing duties. Meanwhile, FDA has recommended budget cuts in several areas, including a $15 million decrease for human drug, biologics, and medical device programs.
“These are tight budget times, and the FDA budget request reflects this reality,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg in a statement. “Our budget increases are targeted to strategic areas that will benefit patients and consumers and overall strengthen our economy.”
Specific to trade, the agency’s budget increase request includes more than $295.8 million above the fiscal year 2012 level to bolster its food safety programs. “Most of these funds are needed to support implementation of the FSMA, which provides authorities and mandates for the FDA to build a modern, prevention-focused domestic and imported food safety system to protect the health of American consumers,” the agency said.
FDA’s budget request proposes a food facility registration and inspection fee and food importer fee. The agency has also proposed new user fees to support its cosmetic and food contact substance notification programs. In addition, FDA requested more than $10 million above the fiscal 2012 level for its food and drug safety inspections in China.