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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: United States; Washington, DC—FDA Too Stretched to Guarantee Food Safety  (อ่าน 1784 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 31, 2007, 02:45:46 PM »

from shrimpnews.com
 
John Sackton, editor and publisher of Seafood.com, an online, subscription-based, seafood report, comments on the slip-through of Chinese seafood imports:
 
FDA has about 450 budgeted positions for screening the imports that it oversees—approximately 20 million shipments of everything from fish to vegetables to pharmaceuticals.  Funding for inspectors has not kept pace with the surge in imports over the past decade and FDA employees have said they’re too stretched to guarantee food safety.
 
For its investigation, the Associated Press reviewed 4,300 seafood shipments from China and found 211 that arrived under an import alert between October 2006 and May 2007.  It was during that period the FDA was putting specific Chinese companies with seafood that had flunked lab tests on its watch list, leading up to a June announcement that all farm-raised shrimp, catfish and eel had to be inspected.
 
The Associated Press was able to reach importers that brought in 112 of the shipments,  It said that 28 of the 112 shipments had not been detained and tested.
 
 FDA did not verify the Associated Press’s numbers.
 
Agency officials said their initial research showed 19 shipments, from a list of more than 200 that the Associated Press provided, had arrived under an import alert and were flagged by FDA’s computer system, and then reviewed by a person who determined they didn’t need to be tested.  Agency officials said they needed to talk to local offices that processed the cargo to find out why those shipments, as well as four others, were allowed through.
 
The Associated Press gave the FDA its list weeks before it published its findings, but the agency did not comment on the specific shipments until after the AP story ran.
 
“We’re going to look into those further,” said Michael Chappell, the FDA official responsible for field inspections and labs.
 
“There is no evidence to say they were released...incorrectly,” said Domenic Veneziano, who oversees FDA’s import operations.
 
“The discovery that suspect seafood from China has reached dining room tables in America without being tested is disturbing,” said Representative John Dingell (D-Michigan), whose Energy and Commerce Committee has been investigating FDA’s record on food imports.  “Apparently, the ‘import alert’ system used by the FDA to test high risk foods cannot be trusted.”
 
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  FDA investigating claims that Chinese seafood products were not screened.  Ken Coons (phone 781-861-1441, email kencoons@seafood.com).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  August 9, 2007.
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