The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its fiscal year 2013 agriculture appropriations bill.  The bill provides $20.785 billion in discretionary spending.  Highlights of the bill include:

·         Food and Drug Administration – Provides $2.54 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Included is an increase of $12.5 million for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.  The bill does not include user fees.

·         Food Safety and Inspection Service – Provides $1.001 billion for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).  Also provides full funding for state and international inspection services. 

·         Domestic Nutrition – Provides $7.041 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). 

·         Foreign Food Assistance – Provides $1.466 billion for PL 480 Title II, same as last fiscal year.

·         Trade Promotion – Fully funds the Foreign Market Development (FMD) at $34.5 million and the Market Access Program (MAP) at $200 million.

·         Research – Provides $1.239 billion for the National Institute on Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and $1.101 billion for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). 

·         Conservation – Provides $828 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).