WASHINGTON — A Senate committee June 17 agreed to fund a faster approval process for food-packaging additives, but the House already has refused funding for the program in a dispute about how to pay for it.
The program would allow manufacturers to introduce new food-packaging materials in 120 days unless the Food and Drug Administration objects. Now, it can take several years to get approval.
Getting a clear shot at funding for the the pre-market notification program has been difficult.
The Senate Appropriations Committee included $6 million for the program in its budget recommendation. The money seems likely to stay in the Senate bill, setting the stage for negotiations with the House later this summer, said Lew Freeman, vice president of government affairs with the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
House leaders are split, with some favoring user fees from manufacturers to pay for the program, and others advocating government funds. SPI favors user fees as a way to avoid congressional battles, but the association does not think those fees can get approval this year, Freeman said.