There could be an estimated 2,100 fewer food safety inspections.

That could mean greater risks to consumers, because of the cuts and because the lack of a new 2013 budget means the Food and Drug Administration is held at last year s spending level.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said most of the effects wouldn t be felt for a while, and the agency won t have to furlough workers.

On meat inspections, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that it will be several months before meat inspectors are furloughed as part of across-the-board spending cuts.

He said that each meat inspector will likely be furloughed 11 days or 12 days, instead of 15 days as the Obama administration indicated earlier.

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