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Secretary Leavitt Travels to the People's Republic of China to Check Up on Efforts to Improve Product Safety
Date:5/12/2008

They plan to review implementation of two recently signed Memoranda of Agreement in this area. Another topic will be plans to establish eight, full-time, direct-hire HHS/FDA positions, along with five locally employed staff, in China as part of the HHS/FDA "Beyond our Borders" program.

On Dec. 11, 2007, Secretary Leavitt and Chinese health officials signed two Memoranda of Agreement that outline areas in which the two Governments will work jointly to improve the safety of food, feed, drugs and medical devices exported from China to the United States.

The initiatives are a product of President Bush's Interagency Working Group on Import Safety, which Secretary Leavitt chaired. In November 2007, the group presented the President with the group's Action Plan on Import Safety. The plan contains short- and long-term recommendations for continuing to improve the safety of products that enter the United States.

With the 2008 Summer Olympics fast approaching, Secretary Leavitt will meet with Chinese officials to review food safety preparations for the Games. For more than a year, HHS/FDA officials have been providing technical guidance in this area. During his time as Governor of Utah, the Secretary worked extensively on the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

During this third visit to China as HHS Secretary, he will also examine efforts to mitigate a potential pandemic influenza and to alleviate the HIV/AIDS epidemic through President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In addition, Secretary Leavitt will spend some time at the Traditional Chinese Medicine University in Shanghai to learn about the delivery of health care in the world's largest nation.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.


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SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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