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 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.
I do not think there is anyone anywhere that trusts the US government. Immediately after reading about the FDA I begin wondering what are they really up to and this sounds like some type of front for some other 3 letter organization. At the very least this is a make work project. Here in the cold north we will soon be seeing wpa and ccc camps everywhere. I don’t know what the answer is anymore. Walking around in the stores this holiday everyone looked like the walking dead. Totally zoned out and in shock. Why would the FDA feel it is necessary to be in CR really?
I am a licensed Customs broker and spent the last 27 years working as a liason between importers and US Customs and the FDA.
Whether FDA regulations exist to protect American consumers or to protect big pharma profits doesn’t matter as far as Costa Ricans are concerned.
I am sure the Costa Rican government is not about to ask the FDA for advice on how to alter Costa Rican laws regulating food and medicines for consumption in Costa Rica. So what are you worried about?
James, It’s not that the CR gov’t will ask the FDA for anything… the FDA will insist on things going their way eventually. The US gov’t has a way of getting their hands into things on what look like good pretenses and then turning them into whatever the US gov’t wants… sometimes slowly so you don’t really realize what’s happened until it’s too late. I have the same fears as Sally and I don’t even live in CR. It would be nice to have a safe haven avail. tho’ should we desire one… the odds of that are getting slimmer.
We are checking out Mx in Jan2010 and I’m starting online Spanish lessons today.
There is a lot to worry about when the US pushes it’s ways onto other countries.
“I am sure the Costa Rican government is not about to ask the FDA for advice on how to alter Costa Rican laws regulating food and medicines for consumption in Costa Rica.”
1) FDA opens office here
2) US says “we will only import what we consider is in compliance with our FDA regulations”
3) producers in CR say ok
4) they are not going to have two lines of products, one that complies one that doesn’t
5) Ministerio de Salud in CR copies most if not all FDA standards (its not like we reinvent the wheel here…..we normally follow either the US or Spain in most things)
I’m sad to say I am 100% certain – borne of too much “alternative press” reading and personal experience with the dark side of government screwings – that the Costa Rican government won’t have to ask the FDA for advice. The FDA will give it and Costa Rica will take it.
The FDA doesn’t need an office here to inspect what comes into the country. Unless they are going to start inspecting the item to be imported to the US from dirt to cargo. Giving direction all along the way.
The FDA – and this is not just my paranoia, there is too much evidence and agreement, even in the MSM – is the enforcement arm of Big PAM (Pharma, Med, Agri). If Big OW (Oil and War) need something, I’m sure the FDA is up for side jobs as well.
Why does the US (I’m not going to say “we” b/c while I am a US citizen and live here, there is precious little I agree w/ when it comes to the US gov’t) gov’t feel the need to own and have jurisdiction over EVERYTHING? It makes no sense. None. Frustration sets in even deeper.
Power. It’s like a comic book come to life. Lex Luther, Magneto, Doctor Octopus, The Joker. Some men really do want to rule the world. And at least one woman.
I live in Canada and we have a DEA office in my city.They opened the office within the last few years but have been doing surveillance here forever.It matters not if they have an office or not or if they call themselves CIA or FDA or whatever.America has agents of all kinds everywhere.They use offices to move agents freely around the globe.Welcome to the NWO.
I hate to say it but I like knowing I’m not completely nuts. I seem normal, right?
How many times have you seen a joint announcement about a new drug… The drug company and FDA say that, after 4 years of testing, the new drug will save 4,000 lives per year.
My question is, “what about those 16,000 people who died while you were exercising bureaucratic power and waste?”
” I seem normal, right?”
you are pushing it there….but we will let it go because you are the owner of the blog 😉
Wolfie, your generosity of spirit is matched only by your wit. Which is what is keeping you alive, I’m sure…
I have seen tainted food imported into the States from South America way too many times to discount the value of the FDA. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing negative about requirirng certification that imported foods have not been exposed to too much pesticide or many other potential health threats.
The biggest complaint I have seen as broker came from US importers who were more concerned about getting their product into the country. They were almost unanimously unconcerned about potential dangers to consumers.
I am NOT a defender of my government. I dislike what my government has become and distrust it profoundly. However, the FDA does more good than harm in my opinion and I have 30 years of experience dealing with that agency as an advocate for importers, not for the FDA. I have come to respect not only the idea of regulagtion of food and drugs, but the efficiency of the effort. Right winger and Libertarians have worked hard to diminish government regulatory efforst for the last 30 years. I hope you understand what that has done to our economy. I hope you do not have to come to understand what that would do to public health one day if the same philosphy is further applied to other agencies charged with protecting our health and environment.
James, the idea has merit. But the FDA is too corrupt to continue on. The evidence is staggering. Start with the GMO website…
The old saw: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” applies here absolutely. Power corrupts and the FDA is poisoned. It needs to go. A private agency would do better, supported only by its good deeds and not by any federal or governmental money.
Pesticides have not been stopped, they just lie about its use and FDA inspectors are paid off. Pesticide use is rampant here – rampant. It would be impossible to stop it, at least not in my lifetime.
Not to diminish your experience, but it sounds like you are too honest to see the magnitude of the corruption. That’s my husband’s problem: he is so moral, so honest, he has such faith in his fellow human being. He knows there are bad apples – God knows we are personally involved with some really bad ones, but he continues to believe in the goodness of humanity. He continues to believe that the good outnumber the bad, that there are people in the world who can stand strong in the face of “everybody else does it”… Silly rabbit.
A private agency would do better?!!
My experience with government agencies and corporations has taught me that corporations are the very LAST entities I would trust to care for the common good. Just think for a minute about why the two entities are created.
Governments, no matter how corrupt many become, are at least created with the charge of caring for the the people. Corporations, on the other hand, are entities which are created for the sole purpose of making profit at whatever cost to others. Period.
It’s great when the common interests of the citizenry and corporate interest merge but that happens with far less frequency than when those interests merge with governments, corrupot otr otherwise.
Corporations corrupt governments, not vice versa. If anything, more effort should be put towards regulating corporations. Just look at the real cause of our current mess.
I distrust the whole idea of having any government or corporation caring for the “common good.” History proves neither can, no matter how well intentioned. No matter how a program starts out, it ends up just buying votes and transferring wealth from the party who earned it to the party who needs it.
Oh, yes, corporations corrupt governments, no questions. But chicken or egg? The relationship is symbiotic, power corrupts.
The real cause of our current mess is the Federal Reserve. I don’t think Margaret Mead was thinking about the Fed when she said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” But the Fed is proof the sentiment is true.
Government is the only tool available for civil organization. If that tool cannot be made to work as designed, what else is there?
Government is not the problem. Corrupted government is the problem. Just as gun fanatics like to say that guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people, it is also fair to apply that logic to government.
And how could you outlaw government when government is the only tool that can make laws? The answer is that you cannot. And if your goal is to just weaken government, the force of market capital is always searching for a path to worm its way into a controlling position.
Our particular tool – our government as designed by the Constitution – is perfect. I would love to see it work as designed. It’s why I support Ron Paul and the Campaign for Liberty.
The reason it doesn’t work as designed is because it has been corrupted by the people to whom we have entrusted it. You are right: it’s the people that are corrupt.
The real sorrow is that we allowed them to take what they want, to do what they want. They have taken every advantage and we sat quietly – too busy trying to pay our taxes to pay attention – and allowed it to happen. We allowed our politicians, still allow them, to scare us into submission so they can take what they want. That is the tragedy.
You are absolutely right: government is a tool just like guns, spoons and drills. In the wrong hands – be it politician, prozacked teen, fat girl wannabe or ladron – they can be very dangerous.
FDA insists on using mercury in vaccines even for toddlers younger then 6 month without any tests!!!!!!!! I WAS POISONED BY AMALGAM, …ALMOST KILLED MYSELF, GMOs make you sterile amongst other problems, PESTICIDES, CHEMICALS, FLUORIDE, AND MORE, FDA LIES TO YOU BY TELLING YOU INCORRECT INFO ON HOW BODY GETS RID OF THIS STUFF – BODY – A BIOLOGICAL SYSTEM DOES NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH CHEMICALS, FDA LIES ABOUT NEEDING MEET and everything that contains other animal proteins, every living thing on this planet and that have long intestine for processing vegetable food, everything that has short intestine consumes RAW MEAT, humans do not have bacteria in the intestine to process meat. Also, cooking food in high temperature makes ALL GOD STUFF LIKE VITAMINS< MINERALS PROTEINS FATTY ASIDS come apart into CARCINOGENS WATCH CANCERS RATES SKYROCKET PEOPLE, THIS IS ECONOMIC FASCISM, EVERYTHING PEOPLE SAY GOOD ABOUT THE FDA AND THE GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL IS EVERYTHING FROM NEWS PAPERS AND MEDIA WITCH BELONGS TO THEM!!!!! drop monkey see monkey do attitude, do a little research, you will find that you live in the circus an the reason for it is YOU, to be correct is to control you, make you stupid (fluoride), poison you to have many different symptoms (mercury), make it look like they curing you by killing you even further (antidepressants are all nothing but tranquilizers with added ingredients)antibiotics kill your good bacteria - normal digestion stops, while outlawing vitamin B17 read about it!!!!!!!! wake the hell up, your stupidity and ignorance makes other people suffer!!!! *** You must be reading the same stuff I'm reading. Whatever you do, don't listen to Alex Jones or you'll be typing in all caps all the time!!!
A late comment; but my worry with the opening of the FDA office here is going in a completely different direction. A lot of the above I agree with – however I believe a more sinister problem lies on the Osa.
We(CR) have signed away the rights, thanks to CAFTA, to protect and benefit from our own rainforests. Once US researchers are let loose, anything they find and develop from our rainforests becomes theirs – not Costa Rica’s. They own the right to (use)that plant, root or bug. we have sold ouselves and our future – and the Big Pharmas win again.
It is horribly sad and sinister. I fear for CR… hopefully, the US will go bankrupt sooner rather than later and the world will stop beating a path to its door. If only CR could become the banking capital of the world…