US sends export inspectors to China

26-08-2008 | |
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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