FDA plan aims to increase import safety

By Staff | June 20, 2011 | 10:41 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. food and drug regulators would share more information with their foreign counterparts as part of a multi-faceted strategy to police the safety of millions of imported goods.

A Food and Drug Administration report issued Monday lays out plans to deal with the rising tide of imports to the U.S., which has quadrupled over the past decade.

The FDA's plan recycles ideas that have been circulated by regulators for over a decade: computerize systems for tracking imports, strategic inspections of high-risk facilities and closer collaboration with regulators in other countries.

But the agency points out that it already has increased powers to police food safety. Under a law passed last year the agency can increase inspections of the riskiest U.S. and foreign food facilities and order recalls of tainted food.