"As we have become a nation of aspirational gourmets, we like to import our coffee beans, cheeses and wines.
We want them to be exotic, connoting adventure and an appreciation for the extraordinary. Thanks to globalization, an increasing number of less-fancy foods are imported, too. But there is a problem with this bounty.
We want to eat well and not die of food poisoning.
Two-thirds of fruits and vegetables and 80 percent of seafood are imported into the United States. But a mere 2 percent of food imports is inspected at ports as they enter the country.
That's where the federal government can help. On July 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed new rules that are intended to increase the safety of imported foods."
"The Pew Charitable Trusts, which support the draft rules, urged swift implementation with limited exemptions and sufficient funding.
"In an increasingly globalized food supply, the new standards will help to level the playing field for American businesses, farmers and food processors,” Pew said in a statement. “The announcement is also good news for consumers who have suffered from poor safety standards and the delayed release of stronger rules."
"This is not a nanny-state effort or government intrusion or regulation run amok. It's a serious and necessary step to protect public health. These rules make sense and should be approved, pronto."