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Mexico is a leading exporter of fresh vegetables, bananas, and snacks to the United States.
Because of their close proximity and trade relations, the United States and Mexico have entered into a partnership to improve each other’s food safety procedures.
A two-page agreement, signed last week by FDA and Mexico’s SENASICA and COFEPRIS agencies, calls for the exchange of information for preventing contamination of fresh produce as well as processed foods. Mexico and the United States are now expected to more actively share information regarding their food safety systems, laboratory activities, community outreach methods, and responses to food contamination outbreaks. The two nations will also actively seek collaboration from the private sector, too.
“Today, Mexico is a major player in the global marketplace and, of course, one of the United States’ most important trade partners,” said FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, who shared her support of the agreement on her blog. “In the U.S., nearly one-third of the FDA-regulated food products we eat come from Mexico.”
In addition to sharing each other’s methods for ensuring food safety, the two nations plan to implement verification measures to make sure that their safety practices are working.