Budget 2012: Food and Drug Administration
Under the President's proposed 2012 budget, the Food and Drug Administration would get $2.7 billion, an increase of $147 million compared to the 2010 budget of 2.6 billion. The agency would get another estimated $1.6 billion in user fees paid by pharmaceutical, medical devices and tobacco companies, for a total proposed 2012 budget of $4.4 billion.
Much of the increase, about $100 million, would be used to implement the sweeping new food safety law approved by Congress last year that requires the FDA to increase inspections of food facilities, both domestic and foreign, among other things.
But that's not enough to meet all the requirements of the new law, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cost the government about $300 million a year over the next five years. In its budget, the Obama administration indicated it will try to make up the difference through user fees imposed on food companies, a move that would require congressional approval but seems likely to get a cool reception on Capitol Hill. When the food safety legislation was pending in the last Congress, the House approved a $500 registration fee for every food company but that provision was dropped by the Senate and never made it into the final legislation.
"This will put the issue clearly in front of Congress about whether it will fund this law," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "The president's budget is a good downpayment."
House Republicans have proposed cutting $241 million from the 2010 budget for FDA.