WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration opened three offices in China this week as part of an effort to improve the safety of food imported from the Asian nation.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach are traveling to the offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai to meet with manufacturers and Chinese government officials to discuss policy and governance reforms.
"We're opening up a new era, not just new offices," Leavitt said in a statement Tuesday. "By having a presence in other parts of the world, we can work more closely with manufacturers and other governments, better share best practices and further ensure that quality and safety are built into food and consumer products at the point of manufacture."
The FDA also is working to establish a presence in India, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, the agency said.