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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Grain and Baking Groups Fighting FDA Fund User Fees

The National Grain and Feed Association, The Corn Refiners Association, The American Bakers Association, and The Independent Bakers Association are four of the 64 grain and industry groups pushing for the government to forego pursuing user fees to fund the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

A letter signed by the organizations was sent on August 31 to Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Shaun Donovan, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, stating that all inspections and food safety programs conducted by the Food and Drug Administration should be funded through appropriated funds rather than through new taxes, claiming that new user fees would result in higher consumer food prices.

The creation of new food taxes or regulatory fees would mean higher costs for food makers and lead to higher retail food prices for the most vulnerable consumers,” the groups said. “As such, we believe imposing new regulatory taxes on food makers is the wrong option for funding food safety programs.”

Congress has not yet passed a budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins on October 1. However, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill providing an additional $45 million in the next fiscal year to fund the new FSMA regulations, and a House bill was approved providing an additional $41.5 million.

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