Food Safety Requires Full Government Funding, Not Piecemeal Resolutions, Says CSPI
CSPI Opposes H.J. Res 77
October 7, 2013
Food safety requires the concerted effort of 13 different agencies, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, which today urged that the House of Representatives defeat a measure that would fund only the Food and Drug Administration, and only through December 15.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), CSPI urged the House to reject H.J. Res 77 and instead pass a clean resolution that reopens the entire federal government.
"FDA must be funded as it plays a vital national role in protecting consumers from contaminated and misbranded food," wrote CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "While we appreciate that many in Congress recognize the agency's importance, we cannot support legislation that takes a piecemeal approach to funding the government and that would make support for FDA a partisan issue. In addition, FDA's growing responsibilities require a funding level higher than that proposed in the legislation."
Opening FDA alone would not be enough to protect the public from potential risks, according to CSPI. For example, FDA works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to identify and locate the source of a foodborne illness outbreak.
Besides the FDA, CDC, and USDA, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration examines seafood for safety and quality, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates the use of pesticides, and the Department of Homeland Security coordinates all those agencies' security activities.