US FDA to open office in New Delhi, Mumbai
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to open two offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, with the first opening in the Indian capital by the end of this year. This is an indication of substantial increase in exports of food and medicines from India to the US. Besides India, FDA would also open its offices in China, Europe and Latin America.
“FDA personnel in India would work closely with Indian regulators and Indian industries shipping products to the US FDA personnel would do more inspections in India,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services, Michael O Leavitt.
“They would also work with government and private sector to establish third-party certification programs,” Leavitt said in Washington on Wednesday according the Department of Health and Human Services.
Leavitt said he would travel to China in November to meet with Chinese health officials to review their mutual efforts to ensure the safety of food and medical products consumed by Americans. The first FDA overseas office would, however, opened in China to be followed soon by India.
He said: “The first office (in India) will be in New Delhi. The location of a second is still undecided, but we are looking at Mumbai. We've begun seeking the approval of the Indian government for these postings.” Plans are to post 10 US FDA officials in India.
"We're making steady progress to better safeguard our supply of food and medicines, though much work remains," Leavitt said. "In the past year, we've upgraded labs and equipment, hired additional staff, and begun implementing product safety agreements with key trading partners, including China.
Increasing US presence overseas, Leavitt said will provide greater protections to American consumers at home and benefit our host countries as well. "Opening these offices will mark a key milestone in the globalization of our efforts to enhance the safety of imported food and medical products," he said.
October 29, 2008