Archive for the ‘Food and Drug Administration’ Category

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will open three offices in China this week

November 17, 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will open three offices in China this week in an unprecedented effort to improve the safety of exports headed to America amid recurring product safety scares.

The new FDA offices, which are the first outside of the United States, will increase effectiveness in protecting for American and Chinese consumers, according to the office of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.

Leavitt and the agency’s Food and Drug Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach will open the first office in Beijing on Wednesday, followed by one in Guangzhou and another in Shanghai.

Associated Press

“Establishing a permanent FDA presence in China will greatly enhance the speed and effectiveness of our regulatory cooperation and our efforts to protect consumers in both countries,” Leavitt’s office said in a statement last week.

Safety issues involving the blood thinner heparin, food and other products imported from China has put pressure on the FDA to boost its international presence. In the heparin case, a Chinese-made component contained a contaminant linked to as many as 81 deaths and hundreds of allergic reactions.

In October, cribs made in China were included in a recall of 1.6 million cribs issued by New York-based Delta Enterprises.

Last year, U.S.-based Mattel Inc. recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made toys worldwide. Products including Barbie doll accessories and toy cars were pulled off shelves because of concerns about lead paint or tiny, detachable magnets that might be swallowed.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081117/ap_on_
bi_ge/as_china_us_tainted_products_8

China: Tainted Drugs Remain Threat to Life

January 31, 2008
January 31, 2008
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BEIJING — A huge state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company that exports to dozens of countries, including the United States, is at the center of a nationwide drug scandal after nearly 200 Chinese cancer patients were paralyzed or otherwise harmed last summer by contaminated leukemia drugs.
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Chinese drug regulators have accused the manufacturer of the tainted drugs of a cover-up and have closed the factory that produced them. In December, China’s Food and Drug Administration said that the Shanghai police had begun a criminal investigation and that two officials, including the head of the plant, had been detained.Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/world/asia/31pharma.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin 

Beijing Has No Control Over Food Safety

October 12, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 12, 2007

“There is simple no way the Chinese government can have control” of food and product safety, the Food and Drug Administration told a congressional subcommittee yesterday.

David Nelson, one of the FDA investigators who just returned from China, described to the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee “hundreds of millions of farmers” in China producing food on tiny plots, some no bigger than a basketball court.

A long series of product safety scandals rocked both China the producer and almost all other nations, China’s customers, since last December. The lesson for the West certainly is, “Trust, But Verify.”

We consulted with a manufacturing process and quality specialist with experience in China who told us: “I found it impossible to get companies in China to acknowledge that foreign customers needed to exert some control over the process and thus the product. The Chinese just would not listen. Now they are reaping the result.”

The process engineer finished with this: “It is quite impossible for any Chinese official to guarantee anything in China because of the lack of control that the government has and the lack of standards we take for granted in the West.”

We have commented on this in The Washington Times and elsewhere several times since the food and product safety crisis from China erupted on the scene last December.

Not only does Beijing lack the ability to fully and properly regulate the countryside in its sprawling land mass, the problem is compounded by a culture of corruption.

Local party bosses won’t enforce the rules if a small bribe suddenly becomes available.

China’s central government, unable to enforce the rules, frequently lies to the international media to cover up their problems.

On June 12, 2007, with the food safety scandal roiling, China’s Vice Minister for the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in China said, “We can guarantee food safety.”

He knew that was simply not the case because on August 4, 2007, the official China news agency Xinhua quoted the deputy head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Hui Lusheng, as saying “Dealing with and preventing food safety risks is a long-term, arduous and complicated project.”

The bottom line is this: with China, it is buyer beware.

Related:
Japanese food makers shun China for Thailand

China: ‘Trust but verify’ needed

Bacteria Filled Chopsticks Found in New China Scare

If China Has Nothing to Hide, Why Do They Hide So Much So Often?

China turns safety drive to dirty restaurants

China: You Won’t Get The Truth

China: So Big, So Powerful, So Disorganized, So Corrupt

China: At Long Last Admits Food Safety Clean Up Will Be “Arduous,” Long Term

Lawmakers seek tougher food-safety rules

October 12, 2007

By Missy Ryan 
October 12, 2007
 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House lawmakers hurled tough questions at U.S. regulators on Thursday as they pressed the Bush administration, after a year marred by public health scares, to come up with more aggressive defenses against dangerous food.

Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee, and other lawmakers were visibly exasperated as they questioned the Bush administration’s food czar and others in a hearing targeted at U.S. screening of domestic and imported food.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071011/pl_nm/
usa_food_safety_dc_1

More Fallout from the Chinese Food Scandals: Heavy Metals in Our Food?

October 8, 2007

By Barry Brownstein
Professor of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore. He can be reached at: barry@givingupcontrol.com

 The Chinese food scandal continues to multiply. There is now little doubt that Chinese food imports have entered the United States food supply in widespread and unexpected ways.

For instance, a former FDA official, William Hubbard, was quoted in the New York Times as saying that most of the candy in supermarket aisles is “likely made with at least one ingredient that originated” in China.

Read the rest:
http://givingupcontrol.wordpress.com/2007/07/06/more-fallout-from-the-chinese-food-scandals-heavy-metals-in-our-food/

Puffer fish sold as salmon kills 15

August 23, 2007

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP)- Unscrupulous vendors in Thailand have been selling meat of the deadly puffer fish disguised as salmon, causing the deaths of more than 15 people over the past three years, a doctor said Thursday.

Although banned since 2002, puffer fish continues to be sold in large quantities at local markets and restaurants, said Narin Hiransuthikul of Bangkok‘s Chulalonkorn University Hospital.

“Some sellers dye the meat of puffer fish and make it look like salmon which is very dangerous,” Narin said.

Read it all:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070823/ap_on_
bi_ge/thailand_puffer_fish_deaths;_ylt=
AsWNRqgDeUGb5en43G3K1e.s0NUE

End Note:
In Asia it is not uncommon for vendors to add dye or anti-bacterial medications to seafood to “lengthen freshness.”  According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, this is one U.S. concern with imported Chinese seafood.

China’s Very Own Reality: Scandals “Politically motivated, unfair, biased and poisoned by jealousy”

August 19, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 20, 2007

Tainted seafood. Poisoned toothpaste. Cough Syrup that may have killed over 100 in Panama. Even toys with lead-based paint. Why? “Politically motivated, unfair, biased and poisoned by jealousy,” says China’s director of product safety, the Most Honorable Li Changjiang.

Just when you think China will come clean and admit that there were real tangible problems, the running back dodges a tackler and runs toward the goal posts.

China lives on denials, lies, suppression of news and obfuscation.And in this run up to the Beijing Summer Olympics, words from Chinese officials are less reliable than ever.

Have you noticed that all China’s factory workers wear hats or hair nets? You’ll never find a hair painted into a child’s toy from China but the paint might be lead-based, which is poisonous.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, at the height of the seafood problems, China’s “farm-fed” seafood came packed with antibiotics. That’s because they are fed on human excrement. If you soak your Chinese shrimp too long in warm water, the “pink” runs out. It is dye: there to make the seafood look more appealing.

The Chinese answer to all of this, weaving back and forth from near truth to outright ridiculous lies, includes this mystically Chinese answer given on China’s state TV network yesterday: “It’s not a severe winter, but there is a cold wind blowing,” the Most Honorable Li Changjiang said.

“This cold wind has been a big trial for the industry … But I think most of our companies can endure this test. Why do I say this? Because our exports keep going up.”

“More than 99 percent of our goods meet standards,” he added. “Demonizing Chinese products, or talking of the Chinese product threat, I think is simply a new kind of trade protectionism.”

It is all “politically motivated, unfair, biased and poisoned by jealousy.”

Forget O.J. Simpson. There is an entire government above 1.3 billion people that has mastered “spin” better than anyone: China.

On August 5, 2007, deputy head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Hui Lusheng, said, “At present, the food safety situation has improved, yet is still serious.”

“Since last year reports of ‘red-yolk duck eggs’ and so on have often caused wide concern in society about food safety, and warned us that our country is in a period of high risk,” Hui said, referring to a contaminated egg scare.

“Dealing with and preventing food safety risks is a long-term, arduous and complicated project, which needs society to work together and comprehensive prevention,” she added.

So on the one hand we have, “long-term, arduous and complicated.”

On the other hand, from a more senior person and less than a month later, we have, “Politically motivated, unfair, biased and poisoned by jealousy.”

This is today’s communist China. China lives on denials, lies, suppression of news and obfuscation.

Nobody should be fooled.

Related:
China: You Won’t Get The Truth
and
China: At Long Last Admits Food Safety Clean Up Will Be “Arduous,” Long Term

If China Has Nothing to Hide, Why Do They Hide So Much So Often?

Psst. China!

China: No Clear Path for New Science or Policy Changes to Reach Rural Areas

August 6, 2007

By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, August 6, 2007; Page A01

ZENGCHENG, China — China’s vast network of food research centers and laboratories churns out mountains of papers on the latest farming techniques and technology. Their work on chemical use, pollution risks and genetically engineered crops is considered to be among the most advanced in the world. The Ministry of Agriculture keeps close tabs on the developments, constantly issuing new advice and new regulations based on the research.

The answer to why even the most well-intentioned and smartest policies of China’s leaders have been so difficult to implement in a country so vast lies in small farmers like Li. With 200 million farming households and 500,000 food-producing companies, information about new science often doesn’t trickle out to remote areas for months or years — if ever.

Related:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/05/
AR2007080501480.html?hpid=topnews

Vietnam: China’a Seafood Exports Slide as Vietnam’s Boom

July 23, 2007

HANOI, July 23  – Despite years of disagreement with the United States about the health and cleanliness of Vietnam’s exported catfish, Vietnam’s catfish exporter Agifish said on Monday its net profit in the first half jumped 67 percent from a year earlier to nearly 30 billion dong ($1.9 million) on robust export demand.

Even as China’s exports of seafood to the U.S. have declined this year as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said China’s exported seafood is largely tainted, Vietnam seems to have recovered from previous FDA criticism.

Based in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, Agifish said in a statement that its first-half revenues rose 6 percent compared with the same period last year to 565.2 billion dong ($35 million).

Agifish said it planned to list 4.9 million additional shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Agifish has projected its net profit for the whole of this year to rise 54 percent from 2006 to 70 billion dong. It expects annual export revenue of $67 million.The company exports fish, shrimp and also supplies material for agricultural production. ($1=16,138 dong)
–Dhan Dan (Official News of the Vietnamese Community Party)

China closes 3 plants on safety concerns

July 21, 2007

SHANGHAI: Chinese regulators said Friday that they had revoked the licenses of three companies that had exported mislabeled drug ingredients and tainted pet food ingredients to the United States and other parts of the world.

By David Barboza
The International Herald Tribune
July 20, 2007

The action comes as Beijing has gone on the offensive, trying to show that regulators here are moving swiftly to help ease global worries about the quality and safety of Chinese exports after months of worrisome product recalls and reports about defective or tainted Chinese goods.

China closed the Taixing Glycerin Factory…

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/07/21/
business/21food-web.php