"The tough fiscal times could make it difficult for the government to increase its oversight of food safety, even with new powers provided by a bill that Congress is rushing to finish in its lame-duck session.
A bill headed to final passage in the Senate would provide the most sweeping overhaul of federal food regulation in seven decades.
But the legislation would require an estimated $1.4 billion in additional spending over the next five years, mostly at the Food and Drug Administration. Most of that extra cost would come in 2014 and 2015 as the agency phases in the new regulations and increases inspections.
The FDA, which is responsible for regulating most of the nation's food supply as well as drugs and medical devices, had a total budget of less than $3.3 billion in the past fiscal year."