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Food Poisoning: FDA To Open Offices In China

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Due to "safety issues involving the blood thinner heparin, food, and other products imported from China has put pressure on the FDA to boost its international presence." The FDA will open offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. Thirteen employees will be assigned to work in the FDA offices with the plan that "Establishing a permanent FDA presence in China will greatly enhance the speed and effectiveness of our regulatory cooperation and our efforts to protect consumers in both countries." said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt.

In the heparin case, a Chinese-made component contained a contaminant linked to as many as 81 deaths and hundreds of allergic reactions. In October, cribs made in China were included in a recall of 1.6 million cribs issued by New York-based Delta Enterprises. Melamine tainted milk powder sickened more than 50,000 Chinese children and led to the deaths of four babies. The World Health Organization says that melamine and cyanuric crystals, which can grow and block the tunules, have been found in the kidneys of some Chinese children.

The plan is to start with educational groups and in a pact that will include China the US and possible the UE to carry out coordinated checks on producers to ensure safety standards are met.