Food Policy Update: April 3, 2014
Several hearings on tap today regarding food policy, food safety issues. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg testifies before the Senate Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee today. She will likely be asked about the rollout of rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). She could be asked about the menu labeling rule that FDA was required to implement under the Affordable Care Act. That rule, plus a second one requiring calorie labeling on vending machines, was formally sent to the Office of Management Budget for review today. Ahead of today's hearing, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the subcommittee's leaders seeking “robust” funding to ensure for food safety at FDA and USDA. “We request additional funds be appropriated towards the goal of implementing FSMA,” the letter said. “It is critical that the FDA is provided funding necessary to modernize our food system.” President Obama’s FY 2015 budget request includes $24 million in new money for implementation of the law.