The Obama administration budget proposal for fiscal year 2016 includes a proposal to impose a food facility registration and inspection fee to fund agency activities related to the Food Safety Modernization Act. The agency projects it would collect $60 million in fiscal year 2016. A food import fee was also proposed, with projected revenues of $103 million in FY 2016.
A coalition of nearly 60 food groups, has now written to the Congress, urging the Senate and House of Representatives to fund the Food and Drug Administration without introducing new fees to the food industry. The group — including the United Fresh Produce Association, the Food Marketing Institute and the American Farm Bureau Federation — is arguing that the new fees will hurt food producers and consumers.
Delivered before the March 4 House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittee hearing, the letter explained that Congress has previously rejected efforts to impose new regulatory fees on food makers and distributors to fund FDA’s food safety programs and should do so again.
“We believe if FDA requires additional funds in FY 2016 to support food inspection activities and implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the administration should seek all such funding through the Congressional budget and appropriations process, rather than asking for authorization of new regulatory taxes that Congress has repeatedly rejected,” the letter said.