It is a basic tenet of policy and politics that there is a difference between having power and being willing to use it. The FSMA appears caught in the midst of just such a difference. The FSMA legislation (which surprisingly was passed with broad bipartisan support just last December) gave the FDA broad new powers, but it now appears that current Congress is unwilling to let those powers be used. The evidence for this claim can be found in the fact that a proposed Republican 2012 budget suggests on cutting the FDA’s budget by 11.5%. Such a cut is inconsistent with the staffing growth necessary to implement the legislation’s goals. Something will have to give if the FDA is actually going to be able to use the powers it has been given.
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