Nov 19,2007 00:00
SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. government does not require food importers to submit the results of private lab tests if those results indicate food is contaminated.
One facility in San Francisco that tests about 150 imported food shipments each month finds at least 10 percent of the food contains things like mercury and salmonella, making it unfit for human consumption, USA Today reported Monday.
The newspaper says generally Anresco Labs tells no one about food that fails except for the importer who pays for the test.
Currently there is no regulation requiring labs to send all test results to the Food and Drug Administration though the FDA automatically rejects food that fails lab tests.
The danger is that an unscrupulous importer who gets bad results from one lab could hire another lab to test the food and pass it, the newspaper reports.
Anresco Chairman David Eisenberg says the FDA's failure to require labs to submit all test results forces them to protect importers more than the public.
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