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In a letter sent to US Senate and House of Representative leadership, a numb er of food industry companies and associations have come out in support of legislation that would increase the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) food safety budget by $109.5 million, to be used for Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementation.

The letter argues that the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) makes  prevention a  cornerstone of our nation’s food safety strategy, saying that "it includes new requirements for manufacturers and provides the FDA with the authorities it needs to adequately fulfill its food safety mission. This new focus on prevention and expanded authority as granted by Congress necessitates an update and increase to FDA’s food safety tools, from regulations to infrastructure.”

The letter goes on: "Our commitment to food safety is steadfast and we need a strong FDA as our partner to fully implement FSMA and to play its proper role in ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply. With the additional $109.5 million in new budget authority requested by FDA, we also welcome congressional oversight; not only to ensure these investments are implemented effectively, but also to make certain that the agency’s regulatory implementation of FSMA is consistent with what the law requires, and what Congress intended in adopting the law."

Signatories include the American Bakers Association, the American Frozen Food Institute, Campbell’s, Inc., Cargill, Inc., Coca Cola, Costco, ConAgra, Dannon, General Mills, the Grocery Manufacturers Association the International Bottled Water Association, Kraft Foods, Land O’Lakes, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Produce Marketing Association,Tyson, Unilever, Wal-Mart, Kellogg's, and the American Spice Trade Association.
KC's View:
Good. There are too many people and companies arguing that this law is an overreach, and that if they just wait long enough, FDA can be de-fanged and the legislation made moot.

Look, I'm not an enormous fan of the FDA. But events have proven that we need to do more on the issue of food safety ... that we need greater transparency, trackability and traceability ... and that companies abusing the public trust need to be held culpable.

Fund the damned thing. Let the process work. In the long run, it is in the consumer's interest, and the industry's.