White House budget seeks new food safety user fees - The Packer

White House budget seeks new food safety user fees

04/10/2013 03:17:00 PM
Tom Karst

Farm programs are being put on a diet with President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget, while expanded user fees will fund much of the increase in the Food and Drug Administration food safety budget.

The $4.7 billion fiscal year 2014 budget for the FDA includes a nearly $300 million increase in food safety programs, funded mostly with new user fees for food facility registrations, inspections and food importers, according to a news release from the FDA.

The White House budget was still being processed by industry lobbyists April 10, but Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C., called the proposed user fees a “non-starter.”

Hitting agriculture hard, the White House budget proposes to eliminate direct farm payments, reduce crop insurance subsidies and slim conservation programs in order to save $37.8 billion from agriculture spending over 10 years. Discretionary spending for the U.S. Department of Agriculture is projected at about $22.6 billion in fiscal year 2014, about the same as 2012.

The White House document said USDA pest and disease programs at the USDA are scheduled to take a $19 million reduction, from $817 million in fiscal year 2012 to $798 million in fiscal year 2014. Among programs eliminated from the 2014 White House budget are the USDA’s Microbiological Data Program and the Pesticide Recordkeeping Program, according to the budget document.

The White House budget proposal calls for a $295.8 million increase in the FDA’s food safety budget, with $252.4 million (94%) of that total funded by new user fees and $43.4 million added in new budget authority. New fees are proposed to support the Food Safety Modernization Act and boost the agency’s oversight of imported food, according to the FDA release.

The budget proposed new fees for food facility registrations, inspections and food importers. The FDA’s budget also calls for a $10 million increase in its budget to conduct food and drug safety inspections in China.

The FDA’s justification to appropriators for the budget numbers is found online.

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florida  |  April, 11, 2013 at 10:11 AM

How much more does this bloated government need? What do you get for the fees, more sensitivity training? There is a big sucking sound coming for Washington. Guess who ultimately pays for the fees?

New York  |  April, 12, 2013 at 06:55 AM

Right on Mike, there will never be enough taxes collected to satisfy these money sucking scum bags. Vote them out, drive them out, burn them out.

los angeles  |  April, 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

I own a produce company in Los Angeles. All this does is raise prices to the end users. The produce is already expensive. More control is making it harder to run a business. They need to leave us alone.

david patnaude    
Beverly  |  April, 11, 2013 at 12:35 PM

$ 10 million to conduct food and drug safety inspections in China? Why are we even buying any food products from a country that supports North Korea recent militant actions? Wake up America, let's support our own American farmers.

Sacramento  |  April, 11, 2013 at 01:00 PM

Really? Why on earth did Americans re-elect this regime! Weaker boarders, less protection, more regulations, higher costs in almost every sector and the FDA is going to charge more and do less. More of the same is certainly a shame! http://bulkbin.com

California  |  April, 11, 2013 at 01:03 PM

This is nothing more than a food tax. The industry should speak out with a united voice on this issue!

Salinas, CA  |  April, 11, 2013 at 08:58 PM

This is what soft-tryanny looks like.

Washington  |  April, 12, 2013 at 02:54 PM

Brian- Amen to that! Gabe- Ignorance...voting for "Too good to be true" political promises.

New Jersey  |  April, 12, 2013 at 07:18 PM

My comments exactly. Watching a story on Fox now and this same question comes up. China is notorious for not handling food properly. I can't imagine why we buy anything, and especially food products from that land.

Ben H    
Virginia  |  April, 13, 2013 at 08:52 PM

We buy food of all types from China so we can keep our Markets supplying them Food, Tabacco, Autos-GM is huge there, and so they will buy our bonds.China could destroy our Quality of Life in weeks by just calling in their debt holdings, they don't need a Military to do it. Can't blame it all on Obama, Utah keeps reelecting Harry Reid.

Joe D    
Idaho  |  April, 15, 2013 at 11:53 AM

@ Ben H. It's Nevada that keeps re-electing Harry Reid... Utah always sends Republicans to the Senate.

temecula, ca  |  April, 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM

what is the cost of spoiled produce at the border if you can't get it across the border? USDA Inspection service corrected their budget years ago by increasing user fees, and now it works great? Fox News doesn't have the answers, only complaints.

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