New import food safety center opens
December 10, 2009
by Eric Schroeder
WASHINGTON — Customs and Border Protection on Dec. 9 opened the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (C.T.A.C.) for Import Safety in Washington. Created on the recommendation of President Obama’s Food Safety Working Group, the C.T.A.C. will allow closer communication among federal agencies for enforcement of tougher import safety and food safety laws recently implemented by Congress.
The C.T.A.C. specifically will target shipments of imported cargo, including food, for possible safety violations, the Food and Drug Administration said. The F.D.A., along with the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, will provide on-site expertise at the C.T.A.C.
“With so much food coming from abroad, we must do all we can to ensure that it conforms to the same safety standards as our own food safety systems,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack added, “As part of the Food Safety Working Group’s efforts to strengthen the food safety system in this country, we identified close cooperation between federal agencies as a key to achieving real progress. The new C.T.A.C. is an important step toward the type of collaboration necessary to ensure that Americans have access to a safe and healthy food supply.”