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FDA Moves to Ensure Safety of Imported Food

Konrad Fiedler/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing new rules to make imported food safer.

Currently, about 15 percent of the food Americans eat is imported from other countries, and of that, only about 2 percent of it gets inspected.

But the proposals announced by the FDA on Friday would change that, requiring importers in this country to make sure foreign companies are producing food that is just as safe as what is produced domestically.  There also would be more thorough audits of foreign producers.

“We must work toward global solutions to food safety so that whether you serve your family food grown locally or imported you can be confident that it is safe,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “Today’s announcement of these two new proposed rules will help to meet the challenges of our complex global food supply system. Our success will depend in large part on partnerships across nations, industries, and business sectors.”

The new rules could cost the food industry more than $400 million a year -- and some say that's too much. There will be public hearings for several months before new rules take effect.

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