FDA seeks public input on food-safety fees

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday began to seek public input on the user fees it will soon begin imposing on the food industry in order to meet its enhanced role in keeping the nation's food safe.

The Food Safety Modernization Act that became law in January provides the FDA with authority to assess and collect user fees to help regulators carry out their new roles. These include domestic and foreign facility reinspections, verifying compliance with recall orders  and importer reinspections.

"The Agency is seeking public comment on what burdens these fees impose on small business, and whether and how the Agency should alleviate such burdens," the agency said in a request for comments and information. "In particular, the Agency is seeking public comments on whether a reduction of fees or other consideration for small business is appropriate, and if so, what factors the Agency should consider for each. In addition, the Agency is seeking public comment on how small business should be defined or recognized."