Web Date: March 19, 2008
FDA To Boost Presence In China
The State Department has approved FDA???s plan to establish eight full-time permanent staff positions at U.S. diplomatic posts in China. The move must also receive authorization from the Chinese government.
The regulatory outposts are an outgrowth of a number of high-profile recalls in the past year involving products made in China, including toothpaste, pet food, and the blood thinner heparin.
FDA says it plans to hire and place staff in China over the next 18 months. In addition, the agency intends to hire five local Chinese nationals to work with the new FDA staff at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates General in Shanghai and Guangzhou.
???In an age when a border is not a barrier, the globalized economy demands nothing less than heightened regulatory interoperability, information exchange, and cooperation, especially on product quality and enforcement matters,??? says Murray M. Lumpkin, FDA???s deputy commissioner for international and special programs.
The agency says permanent overseas offices in China will also allow greater access for inspections and more interaction with local manufacturers to help ensure that products shipped to the U.S. meet U.S. standards for safety and quality.
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