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FDA Plans Foreign Inspectors (sort of)

Posted Oct 28 2008 9:56pm

The FDA is going to station food and drug inspectors overseas to stop the flow of dangerous products into the United States. Or at least that’s the plan.

The FDA hasn’t exactly been serious about the problems of counterfeit drugs from China and South America over the last few years. The agency has relied on the heritage of American isolationism from Monroe to Wilson to get us by (and giving new meaning to “water barrier”).

Stationing inspectors overseas is a nice start, but I can’t help but think this is nothing more than a symbolic public relations gesture. Call me jaded, but it looks to be an election year political solution, rather than real overhaul in the way the agency handles imports.

The plan will help, and certainly can’t hurt. But given the explosive problem of counterfeits, I don’t see this announcement having a considerable impact.
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