U.S. and China renew food safety agreement
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Dec. 11 that it has renewed an agreement with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ) to enhance cooperation between the U.S. and China on food and feed safety. The two countries entered into the original agreement in 2007, and the announcement extends the agreement for an additional five years.
The agreement includes enhancement of FDA’s ability to identify high-risk food products entering the United States from China, collaboration to facilitate inspections of facilities that process and produce food, a focus on high-risk foods frequently exported from China to the United States and the creation of processes for FDA to accept relevant, verified information from AQSIQ regarding registration and certification
In November 2008, after the two countries signed the original agreement, FDA opened offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. These offices have enhanced public health protection by strengthening FDA’s relationship with Chinese food safety authorities, performing inspections, conducting outreach to Chinese industry representatives regarding FDA requirements, and gathering information on trends and events that affect the safety of food exported from China to the United States, according to an FDA news release.
In the five years since the signing of the original agreement, FDA has made significant progress in numerous areas, including increased inspection of Chinese food facilities, enhanced cooperation on high-risk foods, better cooperation with Chinese food safety authorities, joint outreach on the Food Safety Modernization Act and confidence building in laboratory work.