President Barack Obama recently signed a $1.4 billion food safety bill that sets the biggest change to oversight of the food industry since 1938 and gives the Food and Drug Administration more regulatory authority. However, Republicans are sending signals of a funding fight for the new regulations.
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who will chair the subcommittee that oversees FDA funding, doesn’t like the $1.4 billion price tag. “There’s a high possibility of trimming this whole package back. While it’s a great re-election tool to terrify people into thinking that the food they’re eating is unsafe and unsanitary, and if not for the wonderful nanny-state politicians we’d be getting sick after every meal, the system we have is doing a darn good job,” Kingston said. Still, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg pledged to work with Congress to implement the law. “I’m very optimistic that we will be able to move forward,” Hamburg said.