FDA Closer to Adding Inspectors in China
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday announced it had received approval from the U.S. State Department to permanently establish eight full-time positions in China, pending approval from the Chinese government.
The FDA plans to hire and place staff in China over the next 18 months as part of its "Beyond our Borders" initiative. The agency will also hire five Chinese nationals to work with the new FDA staff at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates General in Shanghai and Guangzhou.
"In an age when a border is not a barrier, the globalized economy demands nothing less than heightened regulatory interoperability, information exchange and cooperation, especially on product quality and enforcement matters," said Murray M. Lumpkin, M.D., FDA deputy commissioner for International and Special Programs, in a press release.
"Along with the important Memoranda of Agreement signed with two FDA counterpart Chinese agencies, our efforts to fill permanent FDA positions in China are a significant step toward ensuring access to safe food, drugs and medical devices in the global market," he added.
The FDA is trying to strengthen the cooperative relationships and enhance technical cooperation with its counterpart agencies worldwide. The offices in China will allow greater access for inspections and greater interactions with manufacturers to ensure food safety.
The United States imported approximately 1.18 billion pounds of seafood from China in 2007, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.