FDA and Global Engagement: Recommended Reading

Apr 24, 2012, 6:25 PM, Posted by

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a new report that details steps the agency is taking to ensure that imported food, drugs, medical devices and other regulated products meet the same standards for safety and quality as those manufactured in the United States.

According to the agency, global production of FDA-regulated goods and materials has grown significantly in the last decade:

  • FDA-regulated products originate from more than 150 countries; 130,000 importers and 300,000 foreign facilities.
  • Each year from 2005 through 2011, food imports have grown by an average of 10 percent, pharmaceutical products by nearly 13 percent and device imports by more than 10 percent.
  • About half of all fresh fruits and 20 percent of fresh vegetables, as well as 80 percent of the seafood consumed in America, come from abroad.
  • More than 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients used to make medicines are imported.


The agency says that through its international offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, the FDA is increasing its knowledge base about local regulatory systems, and improving what foreign governments and industries know about FDA regulations and standards for products that will be sold in the United States. The agency says it is also collaborating to strengthen regulatory science and evidenced-based approaches to product safety and quality.

Read the Global Engagement Report.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.