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Food Safety News

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budget

HIMP Debate Sneaks Into FY 2014 Budget Negotiations for USDA, FDA

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Members of the Safe Food Coalition and the Worker Health and Safety Coalition wrote to members of Congress this week, asking them not to reduce the budget for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service and to remove language from the funding bill that urges the agency to move forward with its proposed HACCP-based… Continue Reading

Obama Administration Seeks FDA Funding Increase for FSMA Implementation

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The Obama administration is requesting cuts at most agencies in its 2014 budget, released on Wednesday, but seeking a significant increase in funding at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help the agency implement the monumental Food Safety Modernization Act. While the administration’s budget is very unlikely to be enacted, it underscores the White… Continue Reading

Congress Passes Bill to Avert Meat Inspector Furloughs

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The House on Thursday passed a continuing resolution that will head off furloughs for U.S. meat inspectors that would have taken place this summer as a result of the sequester. The measure, introduced by Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), passed the House by a vote of 318 to 109 today after breezing through… Continue Reading

Washington Asks Whether Sequester Impact Was Overstated

Sen. Coburn To USDA: Less Wine Tasting, More Meat Inspection

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Five days after across-the-board budget cuts, known as the sequester, officially kicked in at most federal agencies, some lawmakers and newspaper fact-checkers are beginning to seriously question whether the doomsday scenario painted by the White House was accurate. “The sequester hit — and (almost) no one noticed,” wrote Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza in a post… Continue Reading

Sequester Expected to Have Big Impact on Food Safety; Details Unknown

Taylor: Reducing funding at FDA "wrong direction"

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Other than a memo put out by the White House earlier this month, which forecast reduced food inspections and meat inspector furloughs, there is not much known about exactly how the sequester, scheduled to kick in on Friday, will impact federal food safety oversight. According to the document put out by the White House Office… Continue Reading

Industry: Government is Obligated to Provide Meat Inspection, Even With Sequester

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After the White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack suggested that the automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester, could force the government to furlough all federal meat inspectors, the food industry is arguing that such a move would violate the government’s legal obligation to keep inspectors at work. Furloughing more than 6,000 meat safety… Continue Reading

MDP Shuts Down; USDA Testing of Produce for Pathogens Halted

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The Microbiological Data Program, which used to conduct 80 percent of all federal produce testing for pathogens like Salmonella and Listeria, officially shut down on December 31, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official confirmed. The $4.5 million program had been in shutdown mode since mid-November. State agriculture departments, which tested samples of leafy greens, melons,… Continue Reading

Fiscal Cliff Deal Dodges Budget Cuts, Includes Partial Farm Bill Extension

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Congress cleared a bill late Tuesday to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” that will delay automatic budget cuts to agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, avoid tax increases for more than 99 percent of Americans and extend part of the farm bill for 9 months. The bill… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: Zero Based Budgeting

Opinion

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It was while doing my time in academia that I was first introduced to zero based budgeting. We learned in a political science class on government finance that the new Governor of Georgia, a peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter, was actually implementing ZBB. Gov. Carter ‘s zero based budgeting created a stir among the states… Continue Reading

OMB Report Asks Congress to Avoid Sequestration

FDA would take $318 million cut; FSIS $86 million

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The sequestration slated to take effect at the first of the year is “bad policy,” and Congress should avoid it by taking action on deficit reduction, says a recent analysis by the White House Office of Management and Budget. A nearly 400 page document released late last week by the administration warns of the impact… Continue Reading