The U.S. and China met this week in bilateral sessions to discuss food safety issues.
Some of the measures requested by the U.S. were:
• Detailed information about the Chinese government's procedures, methodology, and technology for testing and quarantine, as well as information about its control measures;
• Raw data and the results of the testing by Chinese government entities of regulated products;
• The results of all tests for melamine in ingredients destined for human or animal consumption, on an ongoing basis;
• The imposition of a requirement for mandatory registration of Chinese firms that intend to export food and feed products to the U.S.;
• The prohibition of export to the U.S. of products from unregistered firms;
• The publication of a list of all registered Chinese firms and the periodic updating of such a list;
• The clearances necessary, including multi-year, multi-entry visas, for personnel from the Food and Drug Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct inspections in China, as determined necessary to protect public health in the U.S.;
• The clearances necessary for HHS/FDA to conduct systems audits to confirm the registered Chinese firms meet U.S. government food-safety requirements.
These actions do not relate to meat, poultry and egg products, which are regulated by the USDA. Although China is not currently exporting meat, poultry or eggs to the U.S., USDA has several established agreements with Chinese ministries in the area of food safety.