House Votes to Cut Food Safety Funding

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Thursday to withhold funding for the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act and reduce funding for the FDA.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Thursday to withhold funding for the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act and reduce funding for the FDA.

The law, signed into effect last year, has been supported by industry groups, including Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association.

In addition, the House trimmed $35 million in funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture food inspection service and $832 million for an emergency nutrition program for poor mothers and children, according to reports.

The Senate has yet to vote on the funding, which was included in the agriculture appropriations bill. A few House Republicans joined all House Democrats in voting against the spending cuts in the 217 to 203 vote.

The Obama administration was seeking $955 million to fund the FDA's food safety program for the next fiscal year, but the House voted to trim that to $750 million, or $87 million less than the budget for the current year, according to a report in the Washington Post.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act seeks add 1,800 new food safety inspectors, increase inspections of imports and high-risk domestic facilities, and it would give the FDA the power to order food recalls. It also requires that food producers have a hazard-based food safety plan in place, and seeks to strengthen cooperation among various national, state and local food safety agencies.