They Giveth and then They Taketh Away
Last year, our elected officials in Congress approved the Food Safety Modernization Act. For two years, members of Congress debated over various changes needed to improve food safety in the United States. This year (right now), Congress has done a flip. The House of Representatives have already approved “significant cuts” to federal food safety programs; now these budget cuts are headed to the Senate. Give us hope, and then take any chance for improved food safety away. Your tax dollars at work.
The Food Safety Modernization Act was introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in February, 2009. Finally, after years of political debate the bill was passed December 22, 2010. HuffingtonPost.com states “The $1.4 billion bill mainly expands the reach and regulatory powers of the Food and Drug Administration.”
But that was last year. This year our elected officials in Congress are busy again. This time, according to FoodSafetyNews.com, the House has approved “significant cuts to federal food safety programs, to the dismay of food safety reform advocates.”
Further from FoodSafetyNews.com “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration — which is charged with implementing a sweeping new food safety law that covers 80 percent of the U.S. food supply — is hit the hardest under the plan, which passed 217-203. The bill calls for a $285 million cut from the agency compared to fiscal year 2011, an 11.5 percent reduction in discretionary funding, and food safety programs take $87 million of the hit.”
In reference to the recent Germany E-coli outbreaks, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (who introduced the Food Safety Modernization Act) stated “That is also why we passed the Food Safety Modernization Act last year, to give FDA the tools to better respond to foodborne illness outbreaks and to hold industrial food production facilities to higher standards,” added DeLauro. “But for no budgetary purpose to speak of, this legislation would undo all of these overdue and much-needed improvements.”
So – basically – our elected officials in Congress spent two years arguing about what to do to improve food safety, and now they argue over drastic FDA budget cuts. If passed in the Senate it seems any improvement in food safety – pet food safety – impossible to achieve. They giveth and then they taketh away.
Pet food/animal food safety has historically been the way down the list of FDA’s attention getters. We can safely assume, with drastic FDA budget cuts, pet food manufacturing inspections and pet food adverse event investigations are certain to go further down the FDA to do list. Excuse me while I go scream.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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