Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cato: U.S. Lawmakers Address Safety of Chinese Imports

"Lead in toys," reports The Christian Science Monitor. "Melamine in pet food. Toxic chemicals in toothpaste. And now, tainted pharmaceuticals. The unfolding scandal of contaminated blood thinner from China is the latest in a string of revelations about dangerous imports from a country that has risen to become manufacturer to the world. U.S. lawmakers now are pushing for more protection for American consumers, as hearings in Congress this week have made clear. Even the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says he needs more money -- and a new approach -- to try and ensure that products entering the country are safe."

In the Cato-@-Liberty blog post "Food Safety and Imports," Daniel Griswold, director of Cato's Center for Trade Policy Studies, writes: "Consumers have every right to be concerned about the safety of the products they buy, but the problem of potentially harmful products is not unique to China or even imports. ... Americans have been poisoned by beef from Nebraska, spinach from California, and peanut butter from Georgia. The same safety standards apply to imported food as to domestic food. The right response is not wholesale restrictions on imports, but to find better ways of keeping harmful products out of stores no matter where the products originate."

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