China OKs US Health Inspections

Beijing renews objections to 'hyped' product safety concerns
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2007 10:08 AM CST
American cereal are on display at a supermarket, Monday Sept. 17. 2007 in Beijing, China. China has sharply increased inspections of imported U.S. food in a spat with Washington over product safety. Stung...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – China will allow US health inspectors to monitor the country’s food and drug exports, the Washington Post reports, a big concession in heated high-level trade talks. China accuses the US media of tarnishing its reputation by overblowing safety concerns, and has in turn questioned US exports. China is the first of many countries the US hopes to station inspectors in.

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said inspectors would comprehensively monitor the supply chain; orange juice, for example, would be tracked “all the way back to an orange sitting on a tree.” Food safety was the number one item on the US agenda for this week's talks, which seek to ease simmering tensions over issues from safety to currency to the environment.