NRA to host safety summit on food imports

WASHINGTON The National Restaurant Association is co-sponsoring an inter-industry summit to address growing concerns about the safety of imported foods.

The Import Safety Summit will examine best practices and ways to improve the safety of imported products. It will be held here on July 9. Participants will include Michael Leavitt, secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, and Andrew von Eschenbach, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

Kim Lopdrup, the president of Red Lobster, will also appear on a panel. The session that includes him and Leavitt will address the necessity of maintaining a high level of assurance in the safety of imported products.

Other panel discussions will focus on the food industry, standards and certifications, and consumer products.

The summit will bring together a wide cross-section of industry associations, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Fisheries Institute, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

"The Import Safety Summit will provide an open, collaborative forum for industry and government to come together and discuss the best ways to strengthen import safety," said Donna Garren, the NRA's vice president of health and safety regulatory affairs.