FDA FY 2017 Budget
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a press release, available here, detailing the Agency’s budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2017 (i.e., funding for October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017). The FDA is requesting a budget of $5.1 billion as part of President Obama’s FY 2017 budget, which is an eight percent increase over the budget enacted in FY 2016. Regarding food safety, the Agency has requested $18.4 million in budget authority and $193.2 million in user fees to continue implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The FDA noted that the funds would support federal and state efforts to establish enforceable safety standards for produce farms, enable the Agency to continue to hold importers accountable for verifying the safety of imported food and conduct food safety audits of foreign food facilities. In the past, Congress has not approved such user fees for food safety activities.

USDA Awards $20 Million in Grants for Citrus Greening
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently issued a press release, available here, announcing the Agency awarded $20.1 million in grants to universities for research and extension projects to help the citrus industry fight Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening.

White House Opposes Legislation to Revise Menu Labeling Rules
JPA has previously provided updates regarding final rules published by the FDA in 2014 to require calorie information and other nutrition information for standard menu items sold/served in restaurants and retail food establishments. In addition to restaurants, covered establishments include bakeries, cafeterias, coffee shops, convenience stores, delicatessens, food service facilities located within entertainment venues (such as amusement parks, bowling alleys, and movie theatres), food service vendors (such as ice cream shops and mall cookie counters), food takeout or delivery establishments (such as pizza takeout and delivery establishments), grocery stores, retail confectionary stores, superstores, quick service restaurants and table service restaurants. It was earlier reported that the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015” was introduced in the Senate (S. 2217) and the House (H.R. 2017) to ease some of the labeling requirements.

According to an article in the February 11 issue of POLITICO Morning Agriculture, the Obama Administration issued a statement of administration policy on February 10 opposing H.R. 2017 as it “would undercut the objective of providing clear, consistent calorie information to consumers. If enacted, it would reduce consumers’ access to nutrition information and likely create consumer confusion by introducing a great deal of variability into how calories are declared.” On February 10, the House Committee on Rules considered the legislation and recommends that it be considered further by the House.

JPA will continue to monitor and provide updates, as information becomes availabl

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