November 18, 2020

FDA Addresses Issue of China Coronavirus and Imported Products

On our Facebook page recently, one person asked if anyone should be concerned about the safety of products arriving from China as the coronavirus outbreak continues. The virus has been named COVID-19, as it is a virus causing coronavirus disease that was first identified in 2019. Is there a danger regarding coronavirus and imported products?

FDA Addresses Issue of China Coronavirus and Imported Products

The FDA is working to surveil the medical product supply chain and is using enforcement tools to oversee the safety and quality of FDA-regulated products. The FDA isn’t able to conduct inspections in China now, as the U.S. State Department’s Travel Advisory is not to travel to China because of the outbreak.

Here’s the takeaway line: “Fortunately, currently, we are not seeing the impacts of this outbreak resulting in an increased public health risk for American consumers from imported products. There is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. As noted, this remains a dynamic situation and we will continue to assess, and update guidance as needed.”

While the FDA can’t’ inspect Chinese firms, they have other tools available to keep potentially dangerous products from entering the U.S. More than 60% of FDA-regulated products imported from China are medical devices, and 20% are housewares like food packaging. The DFA can request records from firms. They are also screening and sampling imported products, reeling on a firm’s previous compliance history, and will target first-time importers and repeat offenders.

The FDA is also monitoring for any firms who are marketing products with fraudulent COVID-19 prevention and treatment claims. The government can seize these products and file injunctions against the firms.

In addition, at this time scientists think that the risk of contracting the illness by handling packages or products shipped from China is low. The CDC says that COVID-19 is closely related to SARS, which has poor survivability of these viruses on surfaces. In other words there is little to worry about coronavirus and imported products.

The government states, “In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.”

We’ll keep you informed if this opinion changes.

 

 

Comments

  1. The above statement didn’t address the risk from Chinese produced food or drugs themselves.

    China ships a lot of both to the US.

    They pose a very different risk ( I would assume much higher) than the surfaces of plastics , glass , metals , wood or fabric products .

    • Linda Larsen says

      You’re right. The FDA didn’t say much about that, just that they are depending on firm’s past performance and import inspections, since they can’t get into China at this time.

Report Your Food Poisoning Case
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
×
×

Home About Site Map Contact Us Sponsored by Pritzker Hageman, P.A., a Minneapolis, MN law firm that helps food poisoning victims nationally.