But can it follow up?
The Food and Drug Administration is enforcing a new import alert that greatly expands its curtailment of some food ingredients imported from China, authorizing border inspectors to detain ingredients used in everything from noodles to breakfast bars.
The new restriction is likely to cause delays in the delivery of raw ingredients for the production of many commonly used products.
Inspectors are now allowed to detain vegetable-protein imports from
China because they may contain the chemical melamine. Melamine, used in
the manufacture of plastics, was found in the wheat gluten and rice
protein concentrate that has led to the recall of 5,300 pet food
Good, and about time. The FDA cites “control issues” in issuing this alert.
Now for the products to reach U.S. foodmakers, the importers will have
to prove to the FDA that they are safe. The ingredients restricted
include wheat gluten, rice gluten, rice protein, rice protein
concentrate, corn gluten, corn gluten meal, corn by-products, soy
protein, soy gluten, mung-bean protein and amino acids.
Excellent stuff, exactly what was needed, to put the onus on the manufacturer to prove safety. Here’s the FDA’s press release.
The onus, of course, is on enforcement. Can the FDA identify every item on this list, and quarantine it until a certificate is produced? Can it subject a random number of these products to independent verification to avoid cheating? Does it have the resources? Does it have the inspectors? Stay tuned.