Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This should last about two minutes....

Until the customers get distracted. Then it will be business as usual.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- China has agreed to certify the safety of exported food, drugs and medical devices, creating tracking systems and sharing more information about companies with the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.

Items targeted in the start of the new program include farm-raised fish, such as shrimp and catfish, pet foods and materials used to make food, such as wheat gluten. Several drugs covered include oseltamivir, an antiviral to treat flu, some antibiotics and atorvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug.

The agreements, which call for goods from China to meet U.S. standards for safety, follow American anxiety over the list of tainted imports used by consumers and their pets. Mike Leavitt, Health and Human Services secretary, said America's import-safety system is not adequate for the future and the new agreements with China will "enhance the safety" of household items.
"To keep up with the pace of global commerce, we need a fundamental shift, from trying to catch unsafe products as they come in, to building quality and safety into products before they reach our borders," Leavitt said.


"Chinese authorities have pledged to provide timely notification to U.S. regulators under a wide range of circumstances, including the failure of a facility to meet inspection requirements and the suspension or revocation of a manufacturer's certification status," Leavitt said.
U.S. food and drug inspectors will also gain broader access to Chinese production facilities and on an expedited basis, according to HHS.
Within 120 days, a working group with U.S. and Chinese officials will meet to develop a plan to implement the drug and medical devices agreement. Within 60 days, another group with representatives from both countries will meet to develop an implementation plan for the food agreement.
Earlier this year, China's product-safety agency said it would start immediately to work on eliminating lead paint from toys shipped to the United States. That move, announced in September, came in the wake of a series of recalls involving toys contaminated with lead. See full story.
The list of lead-related recalls in 2007 has eclipsed prior years, with the most recent, announced Friday, touching about 260,000 China-made children's sunglasses.
China has learned well at the knee of the neocons, corporations rule, greed is good, and the consumer needs to be parted quickly from his money. Nothing else matters.

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