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Global food economy brings bargains, but also risks

  • Blog Post by: Colleen Stoxen
  • April 4, 2012 - 1:21 PM

The boom in world trade has brought great bargains to American consumers in the past two decades, be they garments from Bangladesh or sedans from Korea.

But it also raises questions about the safety of food and pharmaceuticals imported from developing nations where regulations and inspections are weaker than in Europe or the United States. Last year, for example, about one-third of the tomatoes consumed by Americans were imported, with Mexico being the lead supplier, and one lot of imported tomatoes triggered a salmonella scare.

Now the Institute of Medicine, an agency that advises the federal government on health and medicine issues, is recommending 13 steps the U.S. Food & Drug Administration could take to help bolster the safety of food and medications in low- and middle-income nations that export to the United States.

A summary is available at: www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13296
--DAVE HAGE

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