WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration announced plans Friday to place regulators in China, pending approval from the Chinese government.
The agency said the State Department had approved a plan to establish eight full-time, permanent FDA positions at US diplomatic posts in China.
The FDA also plans to hire five Chinese employees to work with the FDA at the US Embassy in Beijing and at the consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou.
"Our efforts to fill permanent FDA positions in China are a significant step toward ensuring access to safe food, drugs, and medical devices in the global market," said Murray M. Lumpkin, the FDA's deputy commissioner for international and special programs.
Over the past year, US regulators have recalled a number of contaminated products - including toothpaste, pet food, and the blood thinner heparin - made in China.
FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach said last month that the FDA must make major changes to keep up with complex global markets that mean more and more US food and medicine is produced abroad.