Tainted Imports Originate All Over the World

FDA stats on food alerts show China has plenty of company
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2007 10:40 AM CDT
Tainted Imports Originate All Over the World
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers use a portable gamma-ray imaging VACIS machine to examine cargo containers Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Wash. The trade deficit dropped sharply in April even though the politically sensitive imbalance with China increased to the highest...   (Associated Press)

Contaminated Chinese seafood is the latest high-profile export turning American consumers off their feed, but they might want to save some caution for Dominican produce and Danish candy, FDA stats suggest. Inspectors stopped more food shipments from India and Mexico than from China in the past year, the Times reports, and the flood of imports is overtaxing the agency's enforcement system.

The agency scrutinizes just 1% percent of the imports flooding across the borders and has rejected everything from pepper to lollipops since last July. A 2003 plan that would have overhauled the system fell victim to a budget pinch, and a former agency bigwig couldn’t emphasize the shortcomings enough: “These guys are going to war without enough troops.” (More FDA stories.)

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