I am in tears, really and truly. We live in Costa Rica to get away from this. Is there a country in the world where we can escape the U.S. "safety net"?

Thank you to Inside Costa Rica for the news. Emphasis mine:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will open an Health office in Costa Rica on Wednesday according to the US Embassy in San José.

The office will be inaugurated by Michale Leavitt, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Andrew C. von Eschenbach, acting FDA commissioner, US ambassador to Costa Rica, Peter Cianchette and Costa Rican ministra de Salud, María Luisa Avila.

Leavitt is also expected to meet with Costa Rican president Oscar Arias at Casa Presidencial on Wednesday before the opening ceremonies and to take part in a round table discussion on product food drug safety and medical instruments between the US an the region.

The FDA has opened offices in China, India, Europe and Latin America before the end of 2008.

“We’re making steady progress to better safeguard our supply of food and medicines, though much work remains,” Secretary Leavitt said. “In the past year, we’ve upgraded labs and equipment, hired additional staff, and begun implementing product safety agreements with key trading partners, including China.

Increasing our presence overseas will provide greater protections to American consumers at home and benefit our host countries as well,” Secretary Leavitt added. “Opening these offices will mark a key milestone in the globalization of our efforts to enhance the safety of imported food and medical products.”

FDA officials are also working to conclude Memoranda of Understanding with Belize, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama to work together on product safety.

Their collaborations could include information-sharing on their respective regulatory systems and joint workshops and training on the safety of food and medical products. The parties will also make efforts to find opportunities for joint training for food-borne illnesses and the oversight of food traded internationally.

Last year, the United States imported more than us$2 trillion worth of products, from roughly 825,000 importers, through over 300 Ports–of-Entry. All projections indicate this volume will continue to rise sharply over the coming years as the scale and complexity of international trade multiplies."

God help anyone who believes the FDA protects us from anything. It is owned by Big Pharma. I fear the halcyon days of excellent, inexpensive healthcare we enjoy in Costa Rica will breathe its last… I need a tissue.

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