This was posted on my On the Pulse c/o the American Dietetic Association.
FDA Offices opening in China, India, Europe, and Latin America
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will send the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff to China, India, Europe, and Latin America before the end of 2008, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced today, part of a global effort to safeguard food and medicines produced overseas, and sold in the United States.
The first overseas office will be in China, with staff put in place in Beijing this year. Additional staff will join in 2009 in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. HHS/FDA plans on establishing its second overseas office in the Republic of India, with staff first posting to New Delhi in 2008 and at least one additional office to follow in 2009.
In both nations, FDA plans to work closely with local authorities as well as industries that ship food and medical products to the United States to improve safety efforts. Their activities will include providing technical advice, conducting additional inspections, and working with government agencies and private sector entities interested in developing certification programs.
HHS/FDA will also be opening overseas offices in Europe and Latin America before the end of 2008, with a fifth office in the Middle East to follow soon in early to mid-2009.
Last year, the United States imported more than $2 trillion worth of products, from roughly 825,000 importers, through over 300 Ports–of-Entry. All projections indicate this volume will continue to rise sharply over the coming years as the scale and complexity of international trade multiplies.
More information on efforts to improve import safety is available at www.importsafety.gov.