By James Gormley, Senior Policy Advisor, Citizens for Health On January 4th, 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law. It included a number of requirements, including one that the FDA issue industry guidance as to when…
Passage of this bill won’t change much unless the bill is funded. In this economic environment, it will be difficult to get the $1.4 billion required to implement this bill without some revenue generator, which this bill does not include. There has already been talk from Republicans in the House that they will not fund the bill. The government is currently under a continuing resolution (CR) which expires on March 4. So one of the first challenges for the new Congress is how they handle the Fiscal Year 2011 budget. Therefore, it is unlikely that anyone will get an increase in this environment. Some lobbying from states is also anticipated since they’ll be able to seek a variance from the produce safety standards as long as they can show that they have procedures in place to reach the same goals.
Please ask President Obama to veto this legislation so that consumers — not industry lobbyists and agri-business cronies — can develop a true food safety bill that will improve this country’s food-safety system, not bog it down with paperwork, smoke and mirrors.