WASHINGTON — The Grocery Manufacturers Association issued a statement here last week relating that the proposals outlined in the discussion draft of the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2008 would likely increase food prices and impose unnecessary regulatory burdens. The draft is designed to stimulate discussion about how to provide adequate funding and authority for the FDA to ensure the safety of the U.S. food, drug, medical device and cosmetic supply. Released last Thursday by House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, it proposes the creation of an up-to-date registry of all food facilities serving U.S. consumers and FDA inspections of food plants every four years. Registration would require a $2,000 payment per facility generating approximately $600 million for food safety activities at the FDA. “The Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2008 as drafted for discussion creates unnecessary regulatory burdens, over-broad enforcement power, and would likely result in a further increase in food prices,” said Bob Brackett, senior vice president and chief science & regulatory affairs officer for the GMA, in the statement. “The user fees proposed in the draft are unfair food taxes imposed on food manufacturers that will only work to arbitrarily increase the cost of food for consumers at the worst time possible. New rigid, regulatory provisions in the draft will stifle industry innovation, and broad new enforcement powers are unnecessary, burdensome and will be untenably costly for the FDA.” The first legislative hearing for the draft is schedule for Thursday.
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