In response to millions of dangerous products from China finding their way onto American store shelves, the US Food and Drug Administration made history today by opening the first foreign FDA office in Beijing. Better late than never.
According to a CNN report the FDA is also planning on opening offices in Guangzhou and Shanghai China by the end of the week. These three offices in China are to be followed by FDA offices in India, Latin America, Europe and the middle east.
Officials at the FDA offices in China will inspect products bound for the United States and work with Chinese officials on quality control and product safety issues.
Over 50,000 Chinese infants and children became sick in September after drinking milk powder formula that contained melamine. About 13,000 of them were hospitalized, many with kidney stones. At least four children died as a result of the melamine contamination.
Considering how much processed food we import into the United States each year, much of it coming from China, that could have easily been 50,000 American children.
Thousands of Americans have already had their health put at risk by recalls on Chinese food, consumer products and drugs, such as: Toys with lead paint, Heparin blood thinner, and melamine contaminated food.
The new FDA location in China is an important step in securing the health of American consumers. And it comes not a moment too soon.