U.S., Vietnam sign food, medical safety agreement

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 14, 2008

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The Dept. of Health and Human Services and Vietnam's Ministry of Health signed in June a memorandum of understanding consenting to cooperate on public health issues arising from the movement of food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices between the two countries. The Food and Drug Administration also will assist with the inspection of clinical trials performed in that country.

"With this agreement, we're increasing our joint efforts to ensure the safety of goods our citizens consume on a daily basis," said Tevi Troy, PhD, HHS deputy secretary.

According to the State Dept., the two countries exchanged $12.53 billion in goods in 2007, although it's unclear how much of that is health or food related. Traditionally, unsafe goods have been kept out of the U.S. by being intercepted at the border, but officials have been working toward reducing the chance that they are ever manufactured in the first place.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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