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Most Voters Favor More Funding for Food Safety

Approximately two-thirds of likely voters support additional funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement the recently-enacted FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, according to a poll released Thursday.

The poll, commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts and conducted by Hart Research and American Viewpoint, found that 66 percent support increased funding for carrying out the new responsibilities laid out in the new law and 74 percent feel it is worth a 1 to 3 percent increase in the cost of food to pay for the new measures. Seventy percent of those polled also expressed favor for food companies paying an annual fee of $1,000 to help foot the bill.

The polling data comes just days before the House appropriators are set to wrangle over the FDA’s budget in a key meeting on Capitol Hill.

Pew, a key backer of the new food safety law, also commissioned polls in the districts of Appropriations chair Hall Rogers (R-KY) and subcommittee on agriculture chair Jack Kingston’s (R-GA) and found similar levels of support for greater funding, including support for food industry registration fees.

In recent months, Kingston has gone on record questioning whether FDA needs greater resources at a time when House Republicans are aiming to rein in government spending.

“For too long the FDA, which is responsible for the safety of over 80 percent of the foods we eat, has not had adequate resources or power to protect Americans from dangers in the food supply,” said Erik Olson, who directs food programs for the Pew Health Group. “This poll reflects a strong belief that Americans are willing to pay more to ensure that the FDA is protecting the safety of the food they put on their family’s dinner table.”

The nationwide survey, conducted between April 28 and May 4, 2011, polled 1,015 likely voters via landline and mobile phones. The survey has a 3.1 percent margin of error, according to Pew.

© Food Safety News
  • dangermaus

    People seem to be incredibly lazy and scared when it comes to food safety, so it’s no surprise that they’d be in favor of some sort of “program” where they’d pay 2% more for “more” peace of mind, even though they may have no idea of what risk they currently face, and give no consideration of how they can improve their own safety by choosing what food they buy, where they get it, and how they prepare it.