During last Friday's House subcommittee hearing on the Food and Drug Administration's proposed budget for 2012, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg heard House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston, R-Ga., dissect the agency's budget. The President's budget request would increase the FDA budget by 30% to more than $4.3 billion. Republicans have already proposed $400 million in cuts to this year's budget and signaled they would like more for next year.
FDA is responsible for the safety of much of the nation's food supply, cosmetics and medical drugs. The budget battle comes just months after the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which increased food inspection and was the resulting legislation after several large scale food-borne illness outbreaks. Hamburg says cutting FDA's funding for the FSMA would prohibit the agency from fulfilling "ambitious" food inspection mandates.