FDA overwhelmed by flood of imports

Dan Grech Jul 12, 2007


Scott Jagow: China’s getting a ton of bad press about its exports — contaminated pet food, seafood, toothpaste, you name it…

But China’s not the only country sending suspect food to us. More now from Dan Grech.

Dan Grech: China may send more products into the U.S. than any other country. But FDA inspectors actually stopped more food shipments in the past year from India and Mexico.

That’s according to statistics on the agency’s Web site.

William Hubbard: It’s not really just a China problem.

That’s William Hubbard, a former FDA deputy commissioner.

Hubbard: But FDA has found seafood problems in Vietnam, drug and medical device problems in India, raspberries in Guatemala. And many other countries have been targeted by FDA as problem countries.

Hubbard says this is all part of the growing pains of a massive globalization.

In 1993, the FDA was responsible for reviewing two million imports of food and drugs from other countries. This year, it will be 20 million.

Even now, Hubbard says a short-staffed FDA inspects less than 1 percent of products. I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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