FDA considers food import overhaul

June 14, 2007 at 10:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 14 (UPI) -- U.S. officials are considering an overhaul in the process used to inspect and regulate imported food.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking at a plan that would focus on food that poses the greatest risk, based on how foods are produced and handled, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"The shift is to be more proactive, to put more focus on prevention," said David Acheson, the FDA's assistant commissioner for food protection.

The overhaul is expected to include elements from a plan created in 2002 that called for a risk-management approach, to give closer scrutiny to products from countries with mixed or poor safety records, the newspaper said.

The number of food items imported to the United States has tripled over the past 10 years but the FDA's food budget has not increased. Only 1 percent of food imports to the United States are physically inspected, the Journal said.

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