Yesterday I visited with FSIS personnel and 9 other federal agencies in Dulles, Virginia to focus on a critical element of food safety: protecting the public from unsafe imports.
The Interagency Import Safety Conference was organized by the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to bring agencies together, improve cooperation, and build collaboration. Our mutual goal with these efforts is ensuring the continued health and safety of the American consumer.
I want to express a thanks and gratitude to those working to reach this goal to prevent foodborne contamination and protect consumers. Today marks us as one step closer to achieving our goal by focusing on food import safety cooperation. I would also like to thank our import inspection personnel who are working hard every day on the frontlines at keeping harmful imports from reaching the American public.
In December of last year, the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center opened here in Washington, D.C. to provide agencies with shared resources, analysis and expertise necessary to improving the safety of imports. This, among other initiatives proposed by the Food Safety Working Group, will provide an appropriate forum to address the concerns expressed by consumers about the safety of the food they’re serving their families.
I was able to see today the commitment of our public health officials and import inspectors through innovative ideas and combined resources. I look forward to continue working across agency borders to fulfill our commitment to protecting public health.