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Medical News & Perspectives
May 12, 2010

FDA Tries to Catch Up on Food Safety

JAMA. 2010;303(18):1797. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.577

When she presented her agency's proposed budget to a US Senate subcommittee in early March, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, described an ambitious food safety agenda. Hundreds of new personnel, including 132 food inspectors who would conduct 1900 domestic food safety inspections and 150 foreign food inspections annually, are part of the plan.

If approved, the price tag for the FDA's food safety programs for the next fiscal year would rise to $1.4 billion, an increase of $326 million from the previous year. More than one-quarter of the FDA's total $4 billion proposed budget would go toward food oversight. Hamburg told the senators that the increased funding is “laying the foundation for a shift to a food safety approach focused on prevention.”