Mark A. DeSorbo
Keeping the food supply safe and pharmaceuticals sterile and effective are underlying goals in the record $1.4-billion budget the House recently provided for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The budget, recently signed by President Bush, will allocate:
$15 million to protect consumers against the new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a fatal illness associated with consumption of meat from cows with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE);
$10.3 million to prevent substandard food and health care products from reaching the U.S. market by increasing plant inspections and expanding surveillance of regulated imports;
$10 million to safeguard patients against adverse events associated with the use of drugs, biological agents and medical devices by improving FDA's system for monitoring marketed products;
$9.4 million to significantly upgrade food safety by expanding the highly successful Food Safety Initiative beyond microbiological contaminants to cover chemical and physical food hazards.