Federal funding fears

The National Food Processors Assn. worries that the approval of new and safer anti-microbial sterilants for food packaging and revision of irradiation disclosure labeling requirements could be in funding jeopardy.

At issue is whether Congress will appropriate enough money in the FY '99 budget for FDA to fully fund all the programs designed to regulate food. NFPA is concerned that programs not included in President Clinton's Food Safety Initiative (FSI) could be sacrificed. In the budget justification submitted to Congress, FDA noted that even with "user fees," which are vigorously opposed by industry, it will not be able to provide additional staff to reduce review time on food additive petitions, such as those for packaging sterilants.

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