On February 22, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it had requested an additional $14 million in the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget to enhance the safety of food imports. FDA stated that the priority will be enforcement of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) Rule which requires importers to ensure that the foods they import are produced in compliance with the Preventive Controls Rules, the Produce Safety Rule (or other standards equally protective of public health) and are not adulterated or misbranded with respect to allergen labeling. The FSVP Rule was issued to implement section 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

FDA will use its FY 2017 funding to hire staff to perform FSVP inspections and provide training, technical assistance and outreach. The agency will also expand its overseas presence, increasing and better targeting FDA inspections of foreign food facilities, as well as working with and assisting foreign governments to ensure the safety of food before it is exported to the United States.

While FDA has requested this additional funding, ultimately Congress must make the decision to actually appropriate it. FDA requested, and received from Congress, a significant budget increase in FY 2016—$104.5 million in new budget authority—in anticipation of implementing the final FSMA rules.

For more information please contact Erik Lieberman at erl1@liebermanpllc.com or 202.830.0300.