Chuck Schumer fights for people, once again he has taken a stand against "free trade" and toxic substances.
NY Newsday 3-09-08
Spurred by a massive recall of the drug heparin, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said yesterday the federal government should require foreign manufacturers to allow American inspectors to monitor drug factories.
Schumer said he and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) will soon introduce legislation to increase Food and Drug Administration funding and require the overseas monitoring.
The announcement comes in the wake of the FDA linking 19 deaths and hundreds of injuries in people taking the blood thinner to tainted heparin ingredients imported from China. Schumer said foreign drug factories should be required to meet American standards.
"We would basically say to any country, 'If you're not going to meet our standards, you can't import drugs into our country,'" he said.
Schumer said his proposal would prohibit drug manufacturers from importing their products into the United States unless they allowed FDA inspectors to examine their factories.
Foreign drug factories are examined about once every 13 years, as opposed to once every two years for American drug manufacturers, Schumer said.
Schumer said 80 percent of drugs imported into America are manufactured in China. He said he would have no problem with foreign governments imposing similar requirements on American drug manufacturers.
"Anyone can have rules about drugs imported into their country," he said. "Our factories will meet any standards they have."