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GAO releases food safety report

March 22, 2003
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Along with state agriculture and health departments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spent about $1.3 billion in fiscal year 1999 on food safety efforts, according to a recent report issued by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO)

FSIS and FDA together spent about $1 billion, and the states reported about $300 million. The amounts and proportions of food safety expenditures for fiscal year 1998 were similar. Of the federal funds for fiscal year 1999, the report indicated that FSIS expended about 70 percent overseeing about 20 percent of federally regulated foods. FDA expended about 30 percent overseeing about 80 percent of federally regulated foods. The report indicated these expenditures reflect the regulatory approaches or inspection frequencies contained in the laws under which each agency operates.

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