As Congress goes about determining agency funding levels for fiscal year 2015, public health groups are urging members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees on agriculture to provide increased funding to the Food and Drug Administration to support implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). “We are writing to underscore the fact that … the agency needs a substantial increase in funding to make the promise of a safe food supply a reality,” said the letter addressed to U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Sam Farr (D-CA) and U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). The coalition of groups included the Center for Foodborne Illness, Research & Prevention, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumers Union, Food & Water Watch, the National Consumers League, The Pew Charitable Trusts and STOP Foodborne Illness. At a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in February, Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, stated that the agency has sufficient resources to issue the final FSMA rules, but not to put them into action. “We will continue efforts to make the best use of the resources we have, but simply put, we cannot achieve FDA’s vision of a modern food safety system and a safer food supply without a significant increase in resources,” he said. Funding is needed for importer oversight, developing partnerships with state and local agencies, retraining inspectors and providing technical assistance to small growers and processors, Taylor said. Although the president’s FY 2015 budget included a $263-million increase for FDA “to implement regulatory action,” the majority of that funding was proposed to come from industry fees. Those fees are unlikely to go into effect, but the “need for a substantial increase in its food safety funding is no less critical now that it must be provided through appropriations,” the coalition wrote. The groups warn that the progress FDA has made with FSMA will be cut short if additional resources are not provided. “Your action in the FY2015 funding bill is pivotal to the ultimate success of a law that is a priority for the American public,” the public health advocates told committee members.