Election 2012: The Food Vote
The whole health industry can expect an uphill battle on key funding issues this election year.
With the Farm Bill up for renewal this fall, natural and organic interests have renewed their push for funding increases for sustainable agriculture. But at a time when Congress leans toward fiscal conservatism and voters are calling for decreased spending, a revolution seems unlikely. In fact, President Obama in his fiscal year 2013 budget called for subsidy cuts across the board, part of the $32 billion he’d like to see taken out of the bill. This comes in addition to $23 billion in cuts recommended by a deficit reduction super-committee last fall, some of which targets organics.
Belt tightening isn’t a universal theme, however. The Obama administration has also asked for a sizable 17% increase in funding to the Food and Drug Administration. That should please companies and industry associations, who have called for improved oversight from the agency in the wake of numerous recalls and outbreaks over the past few years. What might not go over so well: the request that the majority of that funding come from increased fees on companies the FDA oversees.