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House Holds Hearings to Discuss USDA’s FY 2017 Budget Requests

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies last week held a hearing to address the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 proposed budget with USDA Deputy Undersecretary Al Almanza and Budget Officer Michael Young. Committee members questioned Almanza on several topics, including the FSIS catfish inspection program, the whole genome sequencing program and the new poultry inspection program. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) raised a concern about the shift in sorting poultry from federal inspectors to company employees. Almanza assured DeLauro that there would be FSIS inspectors present at the end of production lines to verify the work of employees and to remove any unsafe or defective carcasses.

The Subcommittee also held a hearing to discuss USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service FY 2017 budget request. At the hearing, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) asked Under Secretary Kevin Concannon about the ideas USDA heard from stakeholders to assist in reforming the process for developing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. USDA responded that stakeholders raised questions about the makeup of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and the use of the Nutrition Evidence Library, among other issues.

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