U.S., China Sign Food Safety Progress Statement

U.S. and Chinese leaders signed a Joint Progress Statement today detailing their progress on ensuring the safety of food and feed products. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt, who leads federal import safety efforts, signed along with Li Changjiang, minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China.

The document lists steps taken by the two countries to implement a 2007 Memorandum of Agreement on food and feed safety. Li and Leavitt are meeting in Annapolis, Md., as part of the fourth session under the United States-China Strategic Economic Dialogue. "Today's progress report reflects strong and sustained cooperation by both nations to strengthen the safety of food products exported to the United States from China," Leavitt said. "I'm very pleased with our efforts and commend our Chinese counterparts for their commitment to this important work."

The Food and Drug Administration and AQSIQ have planned a joint implementation strategy and have begun the initial steps called for by the memorandum. Steps taken thus far include development of concrete acts that will lead to a system for AQSIQ to electronically certify to FDA that specific products sent for export to the United States meet FDA standards for safety and manufacturing quality.

For more information on the MOA on the Safety of Food and Feed, go to http://globalhealth.gov/news/agreements/ia121107b.html. The Progress Statement is online at www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/international/progress_HHS_China.pdf.

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