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The federal government has decided to increase safety regulation on imports after numerous recalls due to excess lead in products from China. The panel, which was created by President Bush to try and ensure product safety, gives several short-term and long-term goals for improving import safety and wants to allot the FDA more power.

According to the panel, the FDA could require manufacturers and importers of high risk products to take steps to prevent contamination and other problems during transport; and gives the FDA the authority to bar imports and mandate recalls if the agency is denied access to production records.

Under the panel’s new rules the CPSC could have manufacturers conduct more tests to make sure products comply with safety rules, and could increase penalties for all violators. If these recommendations are implemented it would make it easier for agencies and U.S. trade partners to trade and share data.

“This will require shifting from reliance on ‘snapshots’ at the border to interdict unsafe products, to a cost-effective, prevention-focused ‘video’ model that identifies and targets those critical points in the import life cycle where the risk of unsafe products is greatest and verifies the safety of products at those important phases. Such a risk-based, prevention-focused model will help ensure that safety is built into products before they reach our borders,” said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Levitt in the panel’s report.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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