HHS Secretary to Visit India on Import Safety Mission

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, having just completed an import safety agreement with China, will travel to India in January to work on the same issues with its government. Improving the quality and safety of Indian food, drugs, and medical products exported to the United States is the chief goa, with increasing Indian-American cooperation on health and science a secondary goal, the department announced Dec. 28.

While there, Leavitt will visit sites that produce food, medicines, and other products for export to the United States and health care facilities that are delivering polio vaccine and care and treatment for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Leavitt chairs the President's Cabinet-level Import Safety Working Group, which was created in July and last month delivered its action plan to President Bush on ways to improve import safety. More interaction with exporting nations was among the recommendations. HHS said this will be Leavitt's fourth trip to Asia since he became HHS secretary.

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