Trade deals mean more unsafe food, group says
Thursday, July 26 2007 @ 11:28 am EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Even as the volume of food imports has grown, the number of Food and Drug Administration inspectors has shrunk from about 3,200 in 2003 to about 2,800 today, according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. The safeguards the U.S. has put in place over the past century are "jeopardized by free trade agreements that pay little or no attention to food safety," he said.
Provisions in the trade deals requiring the U.S. to treat imported and domestic products alike — a standard part of such accords — mean that additional inspections couldn't be ordered for potentially suspect imports.
"There's just no way to fix our imported-food safety problem without fixing our trade policy," Wallach said.