IDFA joined more than 50 associations and business groups in voicing their opposition to new fees to fund the food safety activities of the Food and Drug Administration. The groups outlined their concerns in a letter sent last week to Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee that oversees appropriations for FDA.
The budget recently proposed by President Barack Obama includes a proposal to impose a food facility registration and inspection fee to fund agency activities required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FDA projects that it would collect $59 million in FY 2014 from food and feed producers, manufacturers and distributors if the new fee is authorized by Congress.
In their letter, the groups point out that FDA’s budget proposals for the past two years included similar requests, which were rejected by Congress.
“If FDA requires additional funds to support FSMA implementation and food inspection activities, we believe the agency should request such funding through the appropriations process, rather than seeking authorization of new regulatory taxes, which Congress has repeatedly rejected,” the letter said.
The groups warned that imposing new fees on food facilities would amount to a food-safety tax for consumers, because food manufacturers would have higher production costs and consumers would face higher food prices.
The groups now plan to send a similar letter to the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.
For more information, contact Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at email@example.com.