The Senate’s FY 2016 agriculture appropriations bill has received subcommittee approval and will be considered by the full appropriations committee on Thursday. The bill includes a $45-million increase for the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety activities. Although $3.5 million more than the House allocation, the increase is still less than half of the $109.5-million increase requested in the president’s budget. For the Department of Agriculture, the legislation allocates $1.014 billion for food safety and inspection programs. The enacted levels for 2015 were $1.016 billion, while the administration requested $1.012 billion for 2016. The committee members stated that this level of funding will ensure safe food for consumers and go toward “promoting the safety and productivity of the nation’s $186 billion meat and poultry industry.” The overall funding in the Senate agriculture appropriations bill is $24 billion below the president’s budget request and $3.7 billion below the FY 2015 enacted level.
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