The McLean, Virginia-based American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and a coalition of more than 60 food groups has urged the United States Senate and US House of Representatives to develop a fiscal year 2017 budget that adequately funds Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food safety programs without saddling consumers and food makers with burdensome new taxes or fees.
“Food safety is the highest priority for America’s food and beverage makers,” said AFFI President and CEO Kraig R. Naasz. “As the administration begins to craft the fiscal year 2017 budget, we stand ready to work with federal agencies and Congress to ensure sufficient federal resources are allocated to FDA’s critical food safety activities without increasing costs for consumers and food makers.”
AFFI and its allies wrote Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan stressing that Congress has previously rejected efforts to impose new regulatory fees on food and beverage makers and distributors to fund FDA’s food safety programs.
The AFFI-led coalition warned that imposing any new food taxes would yield crippling economic effects. In a joint letter, the coalition stated: “As consumers continue to cope with a period of prolonged economic recovery and food makers and retailers struggle with fluctuating commodity prices, the creation of new food taxes or regulatory fees would mean higher costs for food makers and lead to higher retail food prices for the most vulnerable consumers.”
Among the 60-plus organizations joining the American Frozen Food Institute in signing the letter were the American Bakers Association, American Dairy Products Institute, American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition, Food Marketing Institute, Frozen Potato Products Institute, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Grocery Manufacturers Association, International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, National Fisheries Institute, National Pasta Association, National Pizza Institute, National Grocers Association, North American Meat Institute, Northwest Food Processors Association and the West Coast Seafood Processors Association.