President calls for additional $275 million for FDA

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration was ceded an additional $275 million in funds by the Bush Administration for fiscal year 2009, the agency announced Monday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt called on Congress to act quickly on this budget amendment and pending Administration legislative proposals to strengthen FDA.

“Today’s action supports the fundamental change in strategy currently underway at FDA to adapt to the demands of the rapidly growing and changing global economy,” the agency stated. The agency plans to allocate the funds toward expediting implementation of the strategy outlined in the Action Plan for Import Safety and the complementary Food Protection Plan, both released in November 2007.

“Last year we outlined important changes in how this nation deals with imports,” Leavitt stated. “We are moving from an intervention strategy—where we stand at the border and try to catch things that are unsafe—to an integrated strategy of prevention with verification. We are rolling the borders back and seeking to build safety and quality into products at every step of the way before they reach American consumers.”

“We commend President Bush for his leadership in announcing an amendment to his 2009 budget proposal with additional funding for the FDA in the amount of $275 million,” said Grocery Manufacturers Association president and chief executive officer Cal Dooley today. “The FDA has been under-funded for far too long. This increase provides for a significant down payment toward FDA’s critical budgetary needs and is a good step in the right direction.”

The increase brings the Administration’s total proposed increase in the FDA’s budget for FY 2009 to $404.7 million—a 17.8 percent boost in funding from FY 2008.

The budget amendment proposes the following increases for core FDA programs:

• Protecting America’s Food Supply (+$125 million)

• Safer Drugs, Devices and Biologics (+$100 million)

• Modernizing FDA Science and Workforce (+$50 million)

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