Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, has stated that India is very conscious of the critical importance of quality and conformity to safety norms, particularly for food and drugs consumed by people. This was stated by the Minister when Mr. Michael O. Leavitt, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary along with a delegation called on him here last evening. Both the sides discussed the progress of ongoing cooperation in many US-India health and life sciences activities and the safety of consumer products, particularly in the fields of research, vaccine and vaccine production.
During the discussions, Shri Kamal Nath referred to the setting up of a Working Group by the Planning Commission to focus on quality and food safety issues and recommendations for the implementation of good hygiene and good management practices, in a phased manner. He further stated that India and US have bilateral institutional frameworks to further trade i.e., India-US Trade Policy Forum and the India-US Commercial Dialogue.
As far as safety of drugs and medical devices exported from India to the US is concerned, Shri Kamal Nath explained that US FDA conducts thorough examination before certifying Indian facilities for production of goods destined for the US and inspects them regularly. Indian companies have always been very cooperative in verification of requisite standards.
Prior to his current service, Mr. Leavit was head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and served three terms as Governor of Utah. He organised a nationwide campaign to transform the Nationï¿½s healthcare sector into a value-driven healthcare system. This is his first official visit to India.