News 187 views last update:6 Aug 2012

US sends export inspectors to China

The United States will station inspectors in three Chinese cities to scrutinize exports to the States, responding to concerns over the safety of China-produced food, toys, and pharmaceutical ingredients.

Up to 15 inspectors will be assigned to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt said in an interview. China agreed in December 2007 to let the Food and Drug Administration establish China offices, among other agreements reached in its Strategic Economic Dialogue with the United States.

Making progress
China's government "worked hard" at improving safety, Leavitt said in Beijing. "I don't think they've got the problem completely solved, but it was clear to them that the made-in-China brand was affected by product quality problems and they moved aggressively to begin making progress."

More budget
Concern over the safety of Chinese products last year shifted the focus of the twice-annual US-China strategic dialogue away from the pace of the yuan's gains. President Bush in June boosted the FDA's budget by $275 million for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 to finance inspections of overseas plants that produce food and medicine for export.

Contaminated pet food
On March 17, 2007 Menu Foods, Inc. a major manufacturer of dog and cat food in North America recalled 60 million containers of wet food after it received reports of pets suffering kidney failure. After a major investigation it was shown that wheat gluten contaminated with melamine from Chinese producers was the cause of this major pet food contamination. Later, the melamine was also found in pig feed. The farmer has used salvage (contaminated) pet food to feed the pigs.

Related folder:
Weblog - What does the melanine case tell us?  

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