The American Bakers Association (ABA), a Washington trade group representing commercial bakers, is opposing the proposed food import user fee, proposed as a way to partially fund the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

“We believe the user fees are unwarranted and will pose an unjustified burden on industry and consumers,” ABA CEO Robb Mackie wrote in a letter to FDA.

Mackie said the organization also believes that the fee is inconsistent with lawmakers’ intent, noting that Congress has repeatedly rejected proposals to fund food safety activities through user fees. At issue are two fees, including a “food import fee” that would be imposed on specific food entries into the US. The second is a “Food Facility Registration Fee,” imposed on individual food facilities.

“ABA believes that these fee programs are neither necessary nor appropriate,” Mackie wrote in the letter.

 The fees are intended to fund implementation of FSMA, which greatly expanded FDA’s role in the food safety system. Mackie says FDA has already implemented many aspects of the new law without any funding challenges.