Better Safeguards Needed for Imported Food, Drugs: Report

U.S. needs to bolster safety systems in developing countries, prevent fraud, Institute of Medicine says

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The report said the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture should provide incentives to businesses and academics to develop inexpensive technologies that can be used in developing nations to prevent and detect fraud and provide tracking and verification of products.

But, Hanson said, the government needs to be able to prosecute importers of bad food and drugs and cut off imports from countries where these problems are endemic. "One of the things that got cut from the Food Safety Modernization Act was real criminal penalties," he added.

Moreover, the FDA needs to be more transparent and post violations on the Internet, something the report doesn't call for, Hanson said.

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