Still Working on Supply Chain Safety

Quite a few federal agency leaders will be looking for work six months from now, but some are still contributing. Two, HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt and FDA Commissioner Dr.Andrew von Eschenbach, visited Chinese health officials in Beijing and Shanghai two months ago, arriving soon after the disastrous earthquake, to discuss product safety cooperation. Both men are scheduled to moderate panels at ANSI’s July 9 Import Safety Summit in Washington, D.C.

The event is billed as an attempt to “fortify the nation’s public / private partnership on import safety” and spur more collaboration throughout the supply chain to ensure the safety of imported medical, food, and consumer products. Eleven associations of manufacturers and distributors are participating, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Food Marketing Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Restaurant Association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and Toy Industry Association, Inc. Leavitt, who chairs the President’s Interagency Working Group on Import Safety, is the scheduled keynote speaker, while ANSI President/CEO S. Joe Bhatia will moderate a standards and certification panel.

Subsequent panels for each of the three product categories will examine actions already taken to maintain a secure supply chain and potential next steps. The summit is open to all interested participants and will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is required by July 8; visit www.ansi.org for information.

Imported safety products are vital to our industry, as are the consensus and mandatory standards governing them. Safety manufacturers and distributors know all about the importance of standards; if you don’t believe they mean much to your success and survival, I suggest you read ISEA’s concise “Safety Equipment Standards: Your Keys to Business Success” pamphlet at www.safety equipment.org.

This article originally appeared in the July 2008 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

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