Thursday, August 27, 2015

AFFI Implores Congress to Reject New Food Taxes



McLean, Va. – American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and a coalition of more than 60 food groups urged the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to develop a fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget that adequately funds U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food safety programs without saddling consumers and food makers with burdensome new taxes or fees.

“Food safety is the highest priority for America’s food and beverage makers,” said AFFI President and CEO Kraig R. Naasz.  “As the administration begins to craft the fiscal year 2017 budget, we stand ready to work with federal agencies and Congress to ensure sufficient federal resources are allocated to FDA’s critical food safety activities without increasing costs for consumers and food makers.”

AFFI and its allies wrote Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan stressing that Congress has previously rejected efforts to impose new regulatory fees on food and beverage makers and distributors to fund FDA’s food safety programs.

The AFFI-led coalition cautioned that imposing any new food taxes will yield crippling economic effects.  The coalition wrote, “As consumers continue to cope with a period of prolonged economic recovery and food makers and retailers struggle with fluctuating commodity prices, the creation of new food taxes or regulatory fees would mean higher costs for food makers and lead to higher retail food prices for the most vulnerable consumers.”

Joining the American Frozen Food Institute on the letter were the Agribusiness Council of Indiana, American Bakers Association, American Council of Independent Laboratories, American Dairy Products Institute, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Feed Industry Association, American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition, American Spice Trade Association, Association for Dressings & Sauces, Association of California Egg Farmers, California Grain and Feed Association, California League of Food Processors, California Seed Association, California Warehouse Association, Canned Food Alliance, Cheese Importers Association of America, Corn Refiners Association, Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association, Florida Feed Association, Inc., Food Marketing Institute, Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, Frozen Potato Products Institute, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Independent Bakers Association, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, International Bottled Water Association, Juice Products Association, Michigan Agri-Business Association, Michigan Bean Shippers Association, Midwest Food Processors Association, Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, Montana Feed Association, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Margarine Manufacturers, National Automatic Merchandising Association, National Confectioners Association, National Fisheries Institute, National Grain and Feed Association, National Grocers Association, National Pasta Association, National Pizza Institute, National Renderers Association, National Turkey Federation, Nebraska Grain and Feed Association, North American Meat Institute, North Dakota Grain Dealers Association, Northwest Food Processors Association, Ohio AgriBusiness Association, Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association, Pacific Egg and Poultry Association, Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association, Pet Food Institute, Produce Marketing Association, Shelf-Stable Food Processors Association, Snack Food Association, United Dairymen of Arizona, United Egg Producers, United Fresh Produce Association, Vinegar Institute, West Coast Seafood Processors Association, Wisconsin Agri-Business Association.