Concerning: Imported Food

Whereas, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) enables FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system, and it gives FDA new tools and authorities to make certain imported foods meet the same safety standards as foods produced in the U.S., and

Whereas, the job of protecting consumers includes an ever-increasing need to oversee imports in a full and comprehensive manner in part due to the rising amount of food imported into this country, and

Whereas, FDA has indicated it will leverage the resources and efforts of others by working in strategic partnership with partner government agencies, international organizations, the food industry, growers, academic experts, and consumers to create an integrated global food safety network, and

Whereas, AFDO believes that in order to optimize the effectiveness, efficiency, and consistency of FSMA implementation relative to imported foods, FDA will need to enhance operational partnerships with state and local government counterparts, as envisioned in FSMA’s call for a national integrated food safety system, and

Whereas, AFDO believes it is important for FDA to recognize that any violative imported food products that escape the scrutiny of federal agencies and are then marketed domestically become primarily a concern for state and local regulators who perform the overwhelming majority of domestic inspections, and

Whereas, many instances of adulterated imported foods are currently identified in retail settings inspected solely by local and state programs, and

Whereas, evidence of violative imported food products identified in domestic channels through state surveillance would be a clear indicator of a systematic failure in the oversight of imported food and the need for enforcement or corrective action, therefore, be it

Resolved, that AFDO remind FDA of our firm belief that any national strategy for dealing with the safety and oversight of imported foods cannot be completely successful without the active involvement of state and local regulators, and be it further

Resolved, that FDA work with AFDO to educate and train state and local regulatory agencies on the import process, FSMA requirements for imported foods, and steps to be taken by state and local agencies when they find violative imported food products.

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