Food security

Published: Saturday 15 March 2003

Safety check (Credit: USDA)The us food and drug administration (fda) may soon have to be notified before food is imported or even offered for import into the country. The fda has mooted this proposal to prevent the chances of terrorists bringing in contaminated food.

The proposed regulation is considered a key step in implementing the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. The act, set to be implemented in December this year, stipulates that food products imported or offered for import without adequate notice will be confiscated at the port of entry.

Such prior notice would provide the fda advance information of imported food shipments, enabling effective inspections before the products enter domestic markets. The notice would need to be submitted electronically through the fda's Internet-based system and the department expects a daily average of about 20,000 such notices.

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