Monday, September 19, 2011

OMB Warns Food Safety Funding Is Threatened Without Obama's Deficit Reduction Plan

"Drastic cuts" possible, says Jack Lew...
In a post on the White House blog this morning to explain President Obama's deficit reduction proposal, Jack Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, warned that food safety funding could face "drastic cuts" if the President's plan to reshape America's tax structure and make cuts to other programs is not passed by Congress. The full details to changes proposed for the agriculture sector ARE HERE.

"If we don’t take a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes asking the wealthiest 2 percent of families and big corporations to pay their fair share, then everyone else must shoulder the load," Lew wrote. "That could mean drastic cuts to things like education, research and development, infrastructure, and food safety; and could mean severe cuts to Medicare that would burden seniors with thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs."

Lew gives no hard details about anyone's plans for cutting food safety funding--"anyone" being the Republican party, which in general believes that food safety regulations are burdensome, expensive, and better left to the private sector, rather than to the federal government. The President signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act in January of 2011, which provided the Agency with broad new regulatory powers for food safety, the first changes since the 1930s. Funding the new requirements in the measure has been under debate by lawmakers for months, as FDA has slowly rolled out components, which includes more federal inspectors and increased testing and monitoring of America's food supply.

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