The Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment to avoid meat inspector furloughs that were slated to occur under the current across-the-board budget cuts, known as the sequester. Introduced by Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), the measure would redirect $55 million from other areas of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s budget to the…

The nation’s meat inspectors  will be forced to take the same days off, possibility shutting down the U.S. meat industry on those dates, the House Agriculture Subcommittee learned Wednesday. In an exchange with USDA Under Secretary For Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen, the committee heard details of the administration’s plan for 11 furlough days that might…

Part II of Food Safety News’ conversation with Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, covers sequestration, pet food, antibiotics and whether he plans to retire anytime soon. Q: Right now your agency is looking at cuts, not increases. Some estimate that FDA is taking essentially

Furloughs of meat inspectors will take “several months” to roll out, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told lawmakers on Tuesday. The department will send out notices to union representatives this week letting them know furloughs are possible, Vilsack told members of Congress at a House Agriculture Committee hearing, according to multiple media reports. “We will do…

Sequestration is costing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta about $450 million, or 8 percent of its total funding for fiscal year (FY) 2013. But since CDC is in the business of surveillance and prevention of infectious diseases, don’t look for the federal government to save any money in the long…

Under the sequester, the government last week implemented across-the-board budget cuts that will affect multiple government agencies. As an attempt to reign in the federal budget, the sequestration plan proposes cuts that could further stymie important legislation such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated publicly that…