GOP unveils cuts to nutrition, food safety

Only part of the FDA’s funding comes from Congress. It also collects fees from the drug and medical device industries, which pay the agency to review new products for approval. With those fees included, the total FDA budget next year would be $3.7 billion.

A coalition of industry and consumer groups fought during the last years of the Bush administration to significantly increase FDA spending, following a high-profile series of food and drug contaminations.

The Appropriations Committee noted that the proposed cut to the FDA is smaller than the total cut across all programs funded under the same spending bill.

In total, the $17.2 billion bill contains $2.6 billion in cuts from current funding, or $5 billion less than President Obama had requested for next year.

“For our part, the Agriculture Subcommittee has sought to begin making some of the tough choices necessary to right the ship. We have taken spending to below pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels while ensuring USDA, FDA, CFTC and other agencies are provided the necessary resources to fulfill their duties,” said Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.).

Other major cuts include $354 million from agriculture research, $338 million from rural development and $486 million from international assistance.