By Dan Shapley
Menu Foods, the pet food maker at the center of the tainted food investigation that has exposed huge gaps in the U.S. food inspection system, said it will stop importing ingredients from China until "the world community" is satisfied the huge and growing exporter can ensure the safety of its products. That could take some time. The Food and Drug Administration rejected 257 Chinese imports in April, far more than from any other country, according to a Chicago Tribune report. Another 1,000 shipments of "tainted Chinese dietary supplements, toxic cosmetics and counterfeit medicines" were detained, according to a Washington Post report. Chinese products, manufactured under often-lax environmental and safety standards, often are distributed without being inspected. And while China is getting the most scrutiny, the FDA has registered food manufacturing facilities in 170 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe
. The world community has been made aware of the increasingly complicated and international food distribution network since the pet food recall, and it will take more than time to assure it that the food available in grocery stores is uniformly safe to eat, according to a May 21 story in USA Today.