US watchdog opens China office

US Food and Drug Administration moves to step up safety monitoring of Chinese exports.

    The recent scare over melamine in milk was the latest in a series of alerts on Chinese product safety [AFP]

    The opening of the new office follows a series of safety scares over Chinese-made products.

    The most recent alert has centred on the Chinese dairy products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.

    Inspections

    After meetings with Chinese officials on Tuesday, Leavitt said China and the US would work on a joint initiative to use better technology for detecting contamination, demand greater corporate responsibility and increase sharing of data and information.

    In the past year, China has stepped up inspections and tightened restrictions on food production and other industries, after a series of scandals.

    However, analysts say it remains an uphill climb for Chinese authorities to regulate countless small and illegally run manufacturing operations.

    Shao Mingli, head of China's country's food and drug administration, said the opening of the FDA office  was a "very clear signal to the whole world."

    "As food and drug regulatory agencies, our first priority is to protect public health and life," Shao said at Wednesday's ceremony. "This is our top responsibility."

    The FDA says it plans to open further offices in India, Latin America and Europe in coming months as it tries to step up safety monitoring of more than $2 trillion worth of goods imported into the US every year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.