business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times this morning that while China has been getting more publicity for exporting contaminated food and ingredients, “federal records suggest that China is not the only country that has problems with its exports. In fact, federal inspectors have stopped more food shipments from India and Mexico in the last year than they have from China.” In addition, “federal inspectors refused produce from the Dominican Republic and candy from Denmark more often” than seafood has been refused from China.

“The reality is, this is not a single-country issue at all,” Carl R. Nielsen, a former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official, tells the Times. “What we are experiencing is massive globalization,” he said.

The Times reports that the current situation may reflect fiscal realities: “An F.D.A. plan to revamp the way it inspects imports, called the Import Strategic Plan, was completed in 2003, but shelved because of budgetary constraints, several former F.D.A. officials said. The plan would have focused more on finding potential risks in the food supply using vast quantities of information — from inspectors and manufacturers to foreign governments and consumers — to aim at problem imports.”
KC's View:
Sounds like a matter of misguided priorities to me.