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FDA would receive a total of $4.4 billion in Obama budget

Tuesday, February 15, 2011; A15

Under the president's proposed 2012 budget, the Food and Drug Administration would receive $2.7 billion - $147 million more than it got in the 2010 budget. The agency also would receive an estimated $1.6 billion in user fees paid by pharmaceutical, medical device and tobacco companies, for a total proposed budget of $4.4 billion.

Much of the increase, about $100 million, would be used to implement the far-reaching food safety law Congress approved last year that requires the FDA to increase inspections of food facilities, among other things.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will cost the government $300 million a year over the next five years to implement the legislation. The Obama administration indicated that it will try to make up the difference through user fees imposed on food companies, a move that would require congressional approval but seems likely to get a cool reception on Capitol Hill. When the food safety legislation was pending in the last Congress, the House approved a measure that would have required every food company to pay a $500 registration fee. The Senate dropped the provision, which did not become part of the final legislation.

House Republicans have proposed cutting $241 million from 2010 levels for the FDA.

- Lyndsey Layton

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