Agriculture Chairman Aderholt Statement in Support of H.J. Res. 77, the Food and Drug Safety Act

Oct 9, 2013

House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Aderholt gave the following statement on the House floor in support of H.J. Res. 77, the Food and Drug Safety Act:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Joint Resolution 77 which would continue funding for the Food and Drug Administration.

"Continued funding for FDA is necessary for this critical operation in order to support our Nation’s public health and the millions of jobs associated with FDA activities.  Most members of this body may not realize, but FDA-regulated industries account for nearly 25 percent of consumer spending in the United States. 

"The Fiscal Year 2013 Agriculture Appropriation included total funding of $4.2 billion, of which $2.5 billion came from discretionary funds and $1.7 billion from user fees.

"Of greatest importance, is the need for us to ensure that our constituents continue to consume safe foods and use safe and effective drugs and medical devices.  Despite reduced funding levels overall in FY 2013, we were able to provide strategic increases of $12.5 million for food safety activities and $10 million for food and drug safety inspections in China.  These funding increases would continue under a CR.

"In addition to the funds appropriated for FDA, this Resolution would allow FDA to collect and spend drug and medical product user fees.  The fees charged to industry support such lifesaving activities for the review and approval of new and generic drugs as well as medical devices.

"This body has already passed a resolution to fund the public health activities at the National Institutes of Health and it awaits the Senate’s approval.  USDA meat and poultry inspectors were deemed critical to our Nation’s food supply and have stayed on duty during this temporary delay in funding.  It is now time for this body to continue funding one more crucial component of our public health infrastructure.

"FDA touches every Member in this House directly or indirectly and we need to get the entire Agency back to work.  We need to also limit any damage to the millions of jobs impacted by FDA’s work in the food and biosciences industries.   

"Now is the chance for my colleagues to join us in keeping this important program fully operational.

"I would ask that my colleagues support this resolution that will ensure that nearly all critical elements of our Nation’s food and drug supply are protected. I reserve the balance of my time."