US import law specialists FDAImports.com and the Global Food Safety Forum (GFSF) have entered into an agreement that will see them offering Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-related expertise to Asian food exporters.
Through the partnership, GFSF hopes to provide its Asia-based food industry members with FDA-specific and specialised information in order to meet the compliance requirements outlined by the recently enacted Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA).
The US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)-sponsored GFSF offers food safety educational services to food industry figures in Asia.
As part of the agreement, FDAImports.com will provide specialist briefings, webinars and respond to queries on international food safety standards, certification and compliance requirements through a new hot line service.
The pact comes less than a week after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report which suggested an increase in import-implicated foodborne disease outbreaks.
“Our goal is to improve the standards associated with imported foods and help importers get into the market,” FDAImports.com principal Rick Quinn, who oversees the company’s China office, told FoodQualityNews.com.
“The Global Food Safety Forum and FDAImports.com have decided to form this partnership to provide FDA-related expertise to Asian exporters, with particular focus on agriculture and processed foods.”
FDAImports.com, which already has a presence in Asia in the form of its China office, has previously worked collaboratively with GFSF.
“We have already worked together to provide food inspection training to Chinese government officials. We also worked collaboratively last month to provide 25 Chinese provincial officials with training in several areas including the requirements for importing foods to the US.”
“In fact the reason we set up an office in China was to stop substandard products reaching US ports of entry,” said Quinn.
The partnership announcement comes less than a week after a CDC report suggested a rise in US-based import-implicated foodborne disease outbreaks.
The review found that between 2005 and 2010, 39 foodborne disease outbreaks were traced back to imported food, of which 17 occurred in 2009 and 2010.
Of the 39 import-implicated outbreaks nearly 45% of the tainted food products came from Asia.
“I wouldn’t use the word ridiculous propaganda, but those words certainly come to mind,” Quinn added, playing down the CDC review.
“Of the 10 major US foodborne disease outbreaks, nine were as a result of domestic foods – not imported products.”
“There is so much nonsense coming from federal agencies at the moment,” Quinn concluded.