WASHINGTON – Federal health officials on Thursday ordered dozens of imported foods from China held at the border as possible health risks. Most are ethnic treats, including snacks, drinks and chocolates.
The Food and Drug Administration has had an import alert in place since Oct. 10 for specific products found contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine and melamine-related compounds.
It’s unusual for the FDA to put such a broad hold on goods from an entire country, not just a few rogue manufacturers. The order, which covers products made with milk, is a precaution to keep out foods contaminated with melamine, which can cause serious kidney problems.
This should have happened even before the melamine problem surfaced. There was more than enough evidence surrounding the problems with Chinese food imports over the past two years that should have caused the FDA to respond.