The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced the opening of its new post in Mexico City. The new post is the FDA's third post in Latin America and the tenth international post the FDA has opened in the past 13 months. The other posts in Latin America are located in Santiago, Chile and at the FDA's Latin America Office headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica. The agency's other new offices are in China, India and Europe.
The opening of the Mexico City post is part of the FDA's continuing effort to buttress food and medical product safety in the U.S. by working with its regulatory partners oversees. "The opening of this office represents an important step as we re-design our product safety strategy," said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. By opening up a post in Mexico City, the FDA is better able to place more emphasis on prevention with the help of the Mexican Government. Since more than a third of the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the U.S. and a large amount of medical devices come from Mexico, having FDA experts located permanently in Mexico will be mutually beneficial to both countries.
Staff assigned to the FDA's Mexico City post will work with its regulatory counterparts to harmonize regulations and foster collaborative initiatives to ensure the safety of food and medical products marketed in the two countries. Agencies in both governments will make efforts to find opportunities for joint training on food-borne illnesses and the oversight of food traded internationally. The FDA also plans to work with industry in Mexico as well. For example, Murray M. Lumpkin, M.D., FDA Deputy Commissioner for International Programs said, "FDA experts in Mexico City will work closely with local industries that ship food and medical products to the United States to improve their understanding of U.S. safety and product quality expectations."