Food and Drug Administration - FY 1998 Testimony

The President has recommended a $24 million increase for FDA to implement the agency's role in PFSI (President's Food Safety Initiative). FDA would receive a proposed increase of $20 million for the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition to enhance its current ability to respond to foodborne disease. Specifically, these additional resources will help establish a new national early warning system to detect outbreaks of foodborne illnesses by enhancing microbiological monitoring and surveillance activities related to pathogen reduction. The FDA has also been charged with creating a federal emergency response system which will improve existing channels of communication between the Federal agencies responsible for investigating foodborne illnesses. Additional funds will be targeted at implementing the seafood HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) regulations and expanding the HACCP principles to non-seafood establishments, retail food service operations and to slaughter of animals used for human consumption. Food safety educational activities and materials will be developed and disseminated to consumers and to food service employees to communicate the need for appropriate food safety behaviors. The agency will also improve microbial risk assessment methods to facilitate the development of more effective risk reduction strategies and regulations focused on specific hazards. Funds will also be devoted to more applied research targeted at improving the nation's ability to detect foodborne pathogens rapidly and accurately from farm to table.

The FY98 budget request for FDA includes an additional $4 million for the Center for Veterinary Medicine to enhance oversight of animal feeds for the impact of drugs and other therapies in food animal populations and surveillance of antibiotic resistance in food producing animals.