FDA Using Computer Program to Track Risky Imports

Fri, 02/05/2010 - 9:04am


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is using an automated system to sort through millions of foreign shipments and identify food and drugs that are most likely to be contaminated.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the plan will help inspectors "target shipments for inspection that pose the greatest risk."

The computer program, PREDICT, assigns a risk score to each container based on its contents, country of origin and the manufacturer's safety record.

Under the current system, imports are often inspected randomly.

More than 20 million imports of FDA-regulated products are expected this year, according to the agency. Typically, less than 1 percent are inspected.

The FDA hopes to have PREDICT deployed nationwide by the spring.




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