Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Article in the Wall Street Journal -- Product-Safety Pacts Put Greater Burden on Beijing, by Jason Leow and Jane Zhang. Here's an excerpt:
The Bush administration signed product-safety agreements with China that place a greater burden on Beijing to regulate exports of food, animal feed, drugs and medical devices.
The agreements require exporters of those products to register with the Chinese government, which will issue certificates stating they meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards. The agreements are aimed at closing some loopholes that let Chinese companies export unsafe food, drugs and other products.
Mike Leavitt, secretary of health and human services, signed the two agreements yesterday with Chinese officials in Beijing as part of three days of trade talks with China. "The agreements satisfy our firm principle that any country that desires to produce goods for American consumers must do so in accordance with American standards of quality and safety," he said in a statement.
The agreements cover such products as olives and canned mushrooms, pet food, raw materials for processed foods, farm-raised fish, drugs and medical devices. Drugs covered include: human-growth hormone; oseltamivir, an antiviral drug; and gentamicin sulfate, an antibiotic. The limited list of covered products is an initial step, U.S. officials said, suggesting Washington wants to gain confidence in the Chinese system before expanding the program.