Resolution of US-Chinese cosmetics mad cow disease issue

The Food and Drug Administration today announced a successful resolution of an issue arising out of the January, 2004 decision by the Chinese government to suspend on public health grounds the importation of United States cosmetics. The Chinese measure, which was issued after the discovery in the state of Washington of a cow infected with BSE, the so-called Mad Cow Disease, has been estimated by the Department of Commerce to result in the potential loss of $100 million worth of cosmetic exports a year.

The suspension has been the subject of several exchanges between the FDA and the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), which culminated in a meeting on April 19 between visiting Mr. Li Changjiang, Minister of AQSIQ, and Dr. Lester M. Crawford, the Acting Commissioner of FDA.

Minister Li informed Dr. Crawford that following fruitful discussions earlier this month in Beijing with Dr. Robert Brackett, Director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, AQSIQ has decided to resume importing U.S. cosmetics, and accept export certificates issued by two U.S. trade associations -- the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association, and the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors, Inc. -- documenting that the products do not contain any animal-related ingredients not allowed in China.

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