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FDA, FSIS, CDC Face Cuts in House GOP Budget

House Republicans Thursday released a more detailed picture of the cuts that would be required under their budget proposal for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, which is slated to be considered on the House floor next week. Food and public health regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would face significant spending cuts under the plan.

According to a preliminary summary unveiled by the House Appropriations Committee Thursday, the proposed continuing resolution that would fund the government from March to October calls for more than $74 billion in spending reductions, but all of the itemized cuts in the outline are reductions compared to the president’s fiscal year 2011 request, not the current continuing resolution that is funding the government.

At first glance, it appears the proposal would cut $222 million from FDA, $53 million from FSIS, $755 million from CDC, $336 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)–an agency that is playing a major role in testing Gulf seafood for chemicals in the wake of the oil spill–and $246 million from the Agriculture Research Service, the research arm of USDA.

But the actual cuts require a different comparison. One has to look at the 2010 spending levels, which were essentially continued in the 2011 continuing resolution. For example, according to the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, though the proposal says $222 million would be cut from FDA, it would really be about $74 million less than FY 10 funding.

The Alliance, which is made up of over 180 consumer, industry, and public health groups, responded with concern to the House Appropriations Committee’s announcement of cuts to FDA.
 
“Our nation needs an effective FDA, which requires continuing increases for an agency that has been chronically underfunded for several decades,” said Nancy Bradish Myers, president of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and President of Catalyst Healthcare Consulting. “We certainly understand the need to reduce the federal budget, but want to be sure that Congress has a clear picture of how FDA contributes to economic growth and national security, as well as protecting our public health.”
 
“FDA touches every American multiple times each day through its jurisdiction over drugs, biologics, medical devices, 80% of the food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements and varied consumer products. Altogether, the agency oversees nearly 25% of consumer spending in the United States,” said Margaret Anderson, vice president of the Alliance and executive director of FasterCures. “FDA funding should reflect that the agency’s responsibilities and workload increase each year–through globalization, scientific complexity, and the growth of industry, as well as through new mandates.”
 
Myers added: “Today’s investment of 2 cents per American per day is small compared to the benefits of a strong FDA and the risks from an underfunded FDA. We look forward to working further with Congress to be sure that the needs of the American people are being met.”

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) says that though the cuts are tough and will impact every congressional district, including his, the GOP remains committed to reining in spending.

“While making these cuts is hard, we have a unique opportunity to right our fiscal ship and begin to reduce our massive deficits and debt,” said Rogers Wednesday. “We have taken a wire brush to the discretionary budget and scoured every program to find real savings that are responsible and justifiable to the American people.”

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to release a more detailed proposal with itemized cuts in the near future.

© Food Safety News
  • http://www.healthyfoodcoalition.org hhamil

    Helena, thanks for reporting this in greater depth than anywhere else I have seen. Because of your better reporting, there seems to me to be a substantial disparity between FSN headline and your article.
    The Alliance for a Stronger FDA is clearly functioning as lobbyist for the FDA. As this entry (http://strengthenfda.org/2011/02/04/a-word-from-house-appropriations-committee-chairman-rogers/) on its website shows clearly, the Alliance provides its members (listed here http://strengthenfda.org/members/) with greater access to the FDA.
    Despite this, your in-depth reporting cites the Alliance as your source for the FACT that the $222,000,000 in apparent cuts “would really be about $74 million less than FY 10 funding.” Yet, the FY 10 funding was largely set by a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party and was substantially increased over FY 2009.
    How is a $74,000,000 cut from a $2,362,000,000 existing budget a “deep cut” when that is still, at least, $227,000,000 above 2009′s actual spending? I wrote, “at least,” because from Obama’s budget request (http://www.foodsafetynews.com/budget_2011_healthandhumanservices.pdf) linked to your 2-3-10 FSN article, “Obama Boosts FDA Food Safety in 2011 Budget (http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/02/obama-boosts-food-safety-in-fy2011-budget/), it is unclear to me what the actual FDA budget was. On p. 77 of the 2011 fiscal year budget (p. 5 of the linked pdf), the FDA budget IN BILLIONS was $2.061 (2009) and $2.362 (2010). Below those numbers it lists the “FDA – Program Level (non add)” budgets as $2.691 (2009) and $3.284 (2010).
    Thus, a $74,000,000 decrease from FY 2010 would only be down 3.1% or 2.3% respectively. To call that a “deep cut” reminds me of Chicken Little’s cry, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

  • Julie

    “Our nation needs an effective FDA, which requires continuing increases for an agency that has been chronically underfunded for several decades,”
    Typical.
    What we need is some sort of regulatory agency that looks after THE AMERICAN PEOPLE’s needs in the food an ddrug arena.
    What we have right now is an agency of Monsanto, Big Agribusiness and BIg Pharma who are calling the shots, including at the USDA.
    I say cut funding to the FDA COMPLETELY, fire the top people and start a whole new orgainzation with all new, uncorrupt people who will stand up to Monsanto, Big Agribusiness, Big Pharma and the rest.
    The FDA is responsible for more deaths than the sum total of every war the US has even been in! This death rate is largely on the heads of Big Pharma but how many of them have seen jail time for their murders?
    It is the FDA and the USDA who are perpetrating the GMO scenario on us. 90% of Americans DO NOT WANT GMOs, but MONSANTO, with it’s people in high places, and having purchased Congress as a safeguard, who is calling the shots.
    Congress will not make the FDA starve – they were all paid early on to make sure Monsanto programs and needs are met.
    You’ll see . . .

  • http://www.healthyfoodcoalition.org Harry Hamil

    Helena, thanks for reporting this in greater depth than anywhere else I have seen. Because of your better reporting, there seems to me to be a substantial disparity between FSN headline and your article.
    The Alliance for a Stronger FDA is clearly functioning as lobbyist for the FDA. As this entry (http://strengthenfda.org/2011/02/04/a-word-from-house-appropriations-committee-chairman-rogers/) on its website shows clearly, the Alliance provides its members (listed here http://strengthenfda.org/members/) with greater access to the FDA.
    Despite this, your in-depth reporting cites the Alliance as your source for the FACT that the $222,000,000 in apparent cuts “would really be about $74 million less than FY 10 funding.” Yet, the FY 10 funding was largely set by a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party and was substantially increased over FY 2009.
    How is a $74,000,000 cut from a $2,362,000,000 existing budget a “deep cut” when that is still, at least, $227,000,000 above 2009′s actual spending? I wrote, “at least,” because from Obama’s budget request (http://www.foodsafetynews.com/budget_2011_healthandhumanservices.pdf) linked to your 2-3-10 FSN article, “Obama Boosts FDA Food Safety in 2011 Budget (http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/02/obama-boosts-food-safety-in-fy2011-budget/), it is unclear to me what the actual FDA budget was. On p. 77 of the 2011 fiscal year budget (p. 5 of the linked pdf), the FDA budget IN BILLIONS was $2.061 (2009) and $2.362 (2010). Below those numbers it lists the “FDA – Program Level (non add)” budgets as $2.691 (2009) and $3.284 (2010).
    Thus, a $74,000,000 decrease from FY 2010 would only be down 3.1% or 2.3% respectively. To call that a “deep cut” reminds me of Chicken Little’s cry, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”