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Public interest, health groups push for FSMA fundingMembers of the produce industry are not alone in their feelings of frustration about federal funding of food safety programs.

With the beginning of the new federal fiscal year, 16 public health and consumer interest groups wrote to the leaders of the appropriations committees in the U.S. House and Senate requesting $50 million for the Food and Drug Administration for the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

“FDA estimates that it needs an additional $300 million over the next two to three years to fully implement FSMA,” wrote the organizations, which include the Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Some members of Congress have made similar requests, including Representatives Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, and Sam Farr, D-Calif., who have asked the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Health and Human Services to request “much higher budget authority” for FSMA implementation in the president’s fiscal year 2016 budget rather than continuing to consider user fees as a funding source.