F.D.A. to open offices overseas

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration announced it will send inspection staff to China, India, Europe and Latin America before the end of 2008. The initiative is a part of the Import Safety Action Plan proposed in November 2007 and calls for increased collaboration and coordination with trading partners and companies exporting goods to the United States.

"The globalization of the food supply and medical product manufacturing has demanded that we do things differently," said Andrew C. von Eschenbach, the F.D.A. commissioner. "Through our Beyond our Borders initiative, we won’t have to send our experts to another country to work with foreign governments and regulated industry to improve our oversight. We’ll have staff living there and working on the ground 365 days a year."

The first overseas office will be in China and the staff will be on site in Beijing this year with additional staff scheduled to be posted in China during 2009. The additional staff will be located in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Another office will be established in India with staff being posted in New Delhi by the end of 2008.

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