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Reuters reports that at a conference on food policy last week, David Acheson of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blamed US consumers for the increases in imported foods…and, by implication, the food safety issues that accompany such imports,

Acheson said that consumers are demanding these products largely because they are anxious to save a few bucks.

The FDA is arguing for greater powers with which to inspect and regulate the food supply, especially imported foods that have created so much concern. While about 15 percent of US food products are imported, and imported foods are growing at a rate of about 15 percent annually, FDA only inspects about one percent of the products for which it is responsible.
KC's View:
First of all, it hardly seems revelatory that consumers are driving food import rates. But it isn’t just price that’s causing this trend. It also is because US consumers have gotten used to year-round availability, and that’s only possible through the import of various products. And, because we live in an era of constant communications, people know more than ever about different kinds of international cuisines, and that also creates demand.

It is possible that as sustainability and the “eat local” movement gain momentum, it could slow the increase of imported foods. But I doubt it.