Advocate says FDA mission 'at risk' from lack of funds

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The Science Board is one of several panels that advises the FDA commissioner. In 2007, it completed a yearlong review of the agency's scientific needs and concluded that the FDA's financial picture was so dire that the agency's functioning was "at risk."

Dorman cited sequestration as just one in several factors that could jeopardize activities like food inspections and drug and device approvals. She blamed Congress and several administrations for failing to prioritize responsible funding increases for the FDA even as they outlined new duties for the agency.

"Is FDA's mission again at risk? Absolutely, yes," Dorman said. "The current appropriations level is totally inadequate to make up for decades of underfunding and all of the new laws enacted since 2007." 

The sequester would amount to a $210 million budget reduction for the FDA in 2013. It is set to hit Friday.