WASHINGTON (FNS) -- President Clinton last week said he would ask Congress next year for federal authority to bar fruits and vegetables from countries that don't meet U.S. safety standards for bacteria and pesticides.
hings as whether fields are irrigated with clean water and whether manure used as fertilizer is free of E. coli bacteria.
Clinton said countries that refuse FDA inspectors would be banned from selling their produce in the United States. The import proposal drew immediate fire from the U.S. food industry as a tactic to disarm critics who say that pending free-trade legislation would increase the risk of contaminated foreign food entering the United States.
C. Manly Molpus, president and chief executive officer of the Grocery Manufacturers of America here, noted that U.S. law already requires imported produce to meet existing U.S. standards.
"National brand-name companies typically exceed such standards to provide an extra margin of safety to consumers," he said.