(Dow Jones Newswires, DC)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will open its first
overseas offices in
Offices will also be opened in
The move reflected the increased globalization of the world's food and drug trade, notably from developing to developed nations, he said.
"Increasing our presence overseas will provide greater protections to American consumers at home and benefit our host countries as well," Leavitt said. "Opening these offices will mark a key milestone in the globalization of our efforts to enhance the safety of imported food and medical products."
Food quality concerns are paramount for the FDA after recent
high profile cases involving
The first office will open by the end of 2008 in
Over the last month, countries around the world have issued recalls and bans of Chinese-made dairy products because high levels of melamine were detected.
In total, 46,810 children were hospitalized after drinking milk tainted with melamine, which was added in place of water to increase volume.
"The globalization of the food supply and medical product manufacturing has demanded that we do things differently," said FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach. "We won't have to send our experts to another country to work with foreign governments and regulated industry to improve our oversight - we'll have staff living there and working on the ground 365 days a year."
Last year, the
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