The health agencies of Mexico and the United States have signed the Declaration of Intent to build an Alliance on Food Safety in order to strengthen the safety of food that is produced, marketed, and consumed in Mexico and the United States. This document will replace the Declaration of Intent signed in 2014 that included only fresh and minimally processed agricultural products.
According to Mexico's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, this agreement will allow Mexico's agricultural and health authorities and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promote collaborative actions with academic, scientific, consumer groups, and the private sector to obtaining a greater knowledge of the safety systems of both countries, establish bases of mutual trust in the respective systems, and identify additional areas of opportunity of mutual interest.
The declaration was signed by the heads of the National Food Health, Safety, and Quality Service (Senasica), Francisco Javier Trujillo; the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), Jose Alonso Novelo, and the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policies and Responses of the FDA, Frank Yiannas.
During a virtual meeting, the director of Senasica stressed that the new instrument "allows immediate communication between agencies, to respond quickly to safety alerts and thus avoid interrupting the flow of fruit and vegetable products from Mexico to the United States." Trujillo stated that the FDA, Senasica, and Cofepris hold joint meetings practically every week.
One-third of the food consumed in the US comes from Mexico
"The FDA, Senasica, and Cofepris will improve their level of collaboration to strengthen food safety and take advantage of new approaches that further protect consumers in the United States and in Mexico," Yiannas stated.
FDA commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said the Alliance was key for the United States because "American consumers depend on Mexican imports for many of the fresh fruits, vegetables, and other foods they consume." "Approximately one-third of all the food and 60% of the fresh produce that the US imports come from Mexico," he added.