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NFPA PRESIDENT OPPOSES FDA USER FEES

 NFPA PRESIDENT OPPOSES FDA USER FEES
 WASHINGTON, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The imposition of "user fees"


on the companies regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to fund that agency's activities would amount to a food tax that would hurt the nation's poorest citizens, according to the National Food Processors Association (NFPA).
 "It should be clearly understood that such fees to support FDA would be a tax, pure and simple," said NFPA President John R. Cady in testimony before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations today. "Such fees would be passed through to consumers and operate as an effective 'food tax' that would be borne in proportion to food consumption. As such, it would probably operate as our most regressive federal tax, carried most heavily by lower income, larger families, particularly the working poor."
 Cady argued that user fees on the companies regulated by FDA "would erode public confidence in the independence of FDA's regulatory activities. An industry funding its own regulator will inevitably create a perception of impropriety. In both fact and perception, the FDA's regulatory integrity must be secure."
 The administration's FY 1993 budget request calls for $797 million to go to FDA, $206 million of which is to be provided through user fees. Cady called this amount inadequate, noting that "The administration's request, because of its reliance on inappropriate fees, is in fact a reduction of $169 million from the current 1992 budget."
 Because of FDA's essential mission, Cady urged the committee to adequately fund the agency. "NFPA endorses the 1993 funding level recommended by the Coalition of FDA Resources of $855 million," he said, "so that this important regulatory role may be filled without the imposition of user fees to accomplish its public health responsibility."
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry. Its members produce the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and specialty products.
 -0- 4/7/92
 /CONTACT: Tim Willard of the National Food Processors Association, 202-637-8060/ CO: National Association of Food Processors ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


DC -- DC046 -- 6011 04/07/92 18:23 EDT
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Date:Apr 7, 1992
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