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Imports From China and Food Safety Issues

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  • Gale, H. Frederick, Jr.
  • Buzby, Jean C.

Abstract

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) increased attention to food imports from China is an indicator of safety concerns as imported food becomes more common in the United States. U.S. food imports from China more than tripled in value between 2001 and 2008. Addressing safety risks associated with these imports is difficult because of the vast array of products from China, China’s weak enforcement of food safety standards, its heavy use of agricultural chemicals, and its considerable environmental pollution. FDA import refusal data highlight food safety problems that appear to recur in trade and where FDA has focused its import alerts and monitoring efforts. FDA refusals of food shipments from China suggest recurring problems with “filth,” unsafe additives, labeling (typically introduced in food processing and handling), and veterinary drug residues in fish and shellfish (introduced at the farm). Chinese authorities try to control food export safety by certifying exporters and the farms that supply them. However, monitoring such a wide range of products for the different hazards that can arise at varying points in the supply chain is a difficult challenge for Chinese and U.S. officials.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Information Bulletin with number 58620.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:58620

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Keywords: China; food imports; food safety; U.S. Food and Drug Administration; FDA; misbranding; labeling; refusals; shipment; violation.; Agricultural and Food Policy; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; International Relations/Trade;

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Cited by:
  1. Anders, Sven & Westra, Sabrina, 2012. "Barriers to Fishery Exports from Developing Countries: The Impact of U.S. FDA Food Safety Regulation," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126912, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Ortega, David L. & Wang, H. Holly & Olynk Widmar, Nicole J. & Wu, Laping, 2014. "Chinese producer behavior: Aquaculture farmers in southern China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 17-24.
  3. Gale, Fred, 2013. "Growth and Evolution in China's Agricultural Support Policies," Economic Research Report 155385, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Mangelsdorf, Axel & Portugal-Perez, Alberto & Wilson, John S., 2012. "Food standards and exports : evidence from China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5976, The World Bank.
  5. Fred Kuchler & Barry Krissoff & David Harvey, 2010. "Do Consumers Respond to Country-of-Origin Labelling?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 323-337, December.

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