U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sam Farr (D-CA) called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to “fully implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).”  In a joint letter, the representatives, both members of the subcommittee responsible for funding the Food and Drug Administration, also urge discontinuing the practice of requesting user fees to implement FSMA.

In the letter to HHS, the representatives acknowledge that the FDA “must have the resources to retrain the existing inspection workforce, hire new staff… and upgrade its information technology infrastructure” in order to realize a new risk-based oversight system.  Yet, HHS budget requests for user fees as a mechanism for implementing FSMA should be ended. The letter states that this practice hides the “true cost of implementation and will likely be rejected.”

In the letter to OMB, Reps. DeLauro and Farr state, “A wide range of stakeholders, including Members of Congress who championed FSMA, want to see the implementing regulations finalized by the end of 2015… The food industry needs regulatory certainty, and consumers and public health leaders want effective new regulations to be in place as soon as possible in order to reduce the number of preventable foodborne illnesses.”