Worldwide FDA Broadcast to be Shown Oct. 28 at TAMIU, Regulations Impacting Food Import to Be Presented

On Dec. 12, 2003, new laws created in response to the events of September 11 will impact many import businesses, especially food imports.

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a worldwide satellite broadcast on Tuesday, October 28 to present the new regulations. Laredo business representatives are urged to attend the broadcast at Texas A&M International University's Western Hemispheric Trade Center, room 116 at 11 a.m. on October 28.

Virginia Vincent, associate director of TAMIU's Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade, said the satellite broadcast will provide an opportunity for the FDA to explain to the public the regulations that will come into effect in December.

"This broadcast will discuss the new regulations which will revolutionize importation and impact anyone dealing with food importation. With this broadcast, the government is taking proactive steps to connect with the private sector and it should be noted that the regulations are 'security driven,' rather than safety or trade driven," she said.

The broadcast, available in English at the University, will be broadcast worldwide in three languages simultaneously, Vincent said. She expects approximately 125 attendees from both United States and Mexico. TAMIU is one of 10 informational sites throughout the U.S.-Mexico border.

Knowing about the new regulations will be imperative for importation businesses, Vincent said.

"The information presented will explain how all foreign and domestic facilities that manufacture, process, pack, distribute, receive or hold food for consumption by humans or animals in the United States must be registered with the FDA by Dec. 12, 2003. In addition, starting on that date, the FDA must receive advance notice of each shipment of food into the U.S. So you can see the wide ranging impact this will have on the industry," she said.

Attendees and interested parties can fax questions prior, during and after the broadcast to the FDA at: 888-361-4011, Vincent said.

She said attendees are asked to report to the University by 11 a.m. to register and hear opening remarks by Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, and Hector L. Zuazua, director of investigations, Southwest Import District Office FDA. The broadcast will last until approximately 2 p.m., and will be followed by a demonstration of the registration process on the FDA web portal.

For more information, or to register for the broadcast, please contact Virginia Vincent at 326.2827 , or visit offices in the Western Hemispheric Trade Center, room 203. University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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