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China, US Reach Food Safety Agreement


China has reached a food safety agreement with the United States that is intended to improve the supervision and regulation of Chinese exports to the U.S.

The state-run Xinhua news agency says Beijing and Washington agreed on an initial framework Saturday, after a visit by an official from the US. Department of Health and Human Services. Details of the memorandum have not been finalized.

A deputy at China's top control agency, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, told Xinhua that China is willing to strengthen its cooperation with the U.S. to resolve disputes on product quality and food safety through negotiations and investigations.

China has been aggressively working to regulate its food and drug industries since reports emerged earlier this year about contaminated medical ingredients from China that killed patients in Panama.

Pet owners in the U.S. also have criticized China for exporting a contaminated pet food ingredient that killed several domestic animals.

In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned imports of five types of seafood from China due to concerns that it contains potentially dangerous antibiotics.

There have also been recalls of a number of children's toys made in China that were contaminated with lead paint.

China in turn has seized U.S. imports it says were unsafe.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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