In his FY 2017 Budget Request, the President has proposed additional resources that include an increase of $25.3 million of new budget authority to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). With these funds, FDA will build on work that began with FY 2016 funds in two key areas.
- National Integrated Food Safety System - $11.3 million. Collaborating with state, local and tribal governments through the National Integrated Food Safety System is a central element of FDA’s strategy to achieve full, effective, and efficient implementation of FSMA. The requested funding will be used primarily to support state capacity to implement the produce safety rule by delivering education and technical assistance to farmers and providing on-going compliance support and oversight. The states have been clear that they cannot perform these essential functions in furtherance of national food safety objectives without federal resources.
- New Import Safety Systems - $14.0 million. The priority will be implementing the FSVP rule, which makes importers responsible for ensuring that the foods they bring in from other countries are produced in a manner that is consistent with U.S. food safety standards. FDA will use its FY 2017 funding to hire staff to perform FSVP inspections and provide training, technical assistance and outreach. The agency will also expand its overseas presence, increasing and better targeting FDA inspections of foreign food facilities, as well as working with and assisting foreign governments to ensure the safety of food before it is exported to the United States.
Developing reasonable, effective, and flexible rules to create a modern, prevention-based food safety system is a formidable job, but it is just the first step in FSMA implementation. Much more needs to be done to lay the groundwork for smooth and effective implementation of FSMA in FY 2017.