Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt Monday announced that President George W. Bush’s administration is amending its budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2009 to include an additional $275 million for the FDA. He also called on Congress to act quickly on the budget amendment and pending Administration legislative proposals to strengthen the FDA.
The increase brings the administration’s total proposed increase in the FDA's budget for FY 2009 to $404.7 million—a 17.8 percent boost in funding from FY 2008.
The funds will expedite implementation of the strategy outlined in the Action Plan for Import Safety and the complementary Food Protection Plan, both released in November 2007, according to the FDA.
“Last year we outlined important changes in how this nation deals with imports. We are moving from an intervention strategy—where we stand at the border and try to catch things that are unsafe—to an integrated strategy of prevention with verification. We are rolling the borders back and seeking to build safety and quality into products at every step of the way before they reach American consumers,” Leavitt said.
Among other things, the moneis will help the FDA establish a presence in five countries or regions, conduct thousands more foreign and domestic inspections and modernize its IT infrastructure.