WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it's opened a Mexico City post to help boost U.S. food and medical product safety by working with Mexican officials.
The FDA said the Mexico City office is its third post in Latin America and its 10th international office opened during the past 13 months.
"The opening of this office represents an important step as we re-design our product safety strategy. We, like our partners in the Mexican government, realize that prevention is the key. For example, more than a third of the fresh fruits and vegetables we eat come from Mexico, as do a large amount of our medical devices. Having FDA experts located permanently there will be mutually beneficial to both our countries and respective citizens," said U.S. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
The federal agency said FDA staff in the Mexico City office will work with their counterparts in the Mexican government to harmonize regulations and guidance standards and to work on other collaborative initiatives.
"FDA staff will work with industry in Mexico as well," said Dr. Murray Lumpkin, the agency's deputy commissioner for international programs. "FDA experts in Mexico City will work closely with local industries that ship food and medical products to the United States to improve their understanding of U.S. safety and product quality expectations."
The FDA now operates offices in China, India, Europe, Santiago, Chile and Costa Rica.