The House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Ag/FDA/Independent Agencies has reported out its appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19).
NTEU is grateful the subcommittee provided a needed increase of $308 million in budget authority for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Most of the increase is targeted for a major expansion of the FDA’s capabilities in advancing the availability of innovative drugs and medical devices which is a wise use of resources. Food safety programs would receive a small increase under the bill, despite increasing agency responsibilities for the safety of the American food supply which were expanded under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Overall, I believe that at least $174 million is needed in additional resources.
The costs of underfunding the FDA are severe. It risks the health and lives of many Americans, particularly children, the elderly, and expectant mothers by exposure to adulterated foods, uninspected imports from countries with nothing close to American sanitary standards, and ineffective or even harmful pharmaceuticals. Inadequate funding will mean that products will go untested, opportunities for medical advances will be lost, and the American public will have to heighten their concern with every bite they eat, every pill they take, every pet or farm animal they feed, and every x-ray machine they use. NTEU will continue to work so that the funding for FDA is closer to what is needed.
If you have any questions, please contact your chapter president. Thank you.