US proposes food safety and import regime

05 March 1998

US proposes food safety and import regime

THE US administration has proposed legislation to raise US food safety standards and send officials abroad to inspect products destined for America.

President Bill Clinton is asking Congress for $101m (£60.4m) to hire new food inspectors and provide technical help to US trade partners who cannot pass its safety tests.

US officials vowed to make the process “collaborative and collegial” and said the new laws would not be used to distort trade.

Charlene Barshefsky, US trade representative, said the US would comply with World Trade Organisation regulations which allow countries to set up the highest health and safety standards as long as they are based on sound science and are non-trade disruptive.

US food imports have doubled over the past five to seven years and officials believe they will do so again by 2005.

  • Financial Times 05/03/98 page 4

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