Food and Drug Administration officials say the agency will establish its first office in China before the end of the year. It's part of a broader plan to assure the safety of imports from the developing world.
FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach says the government plans to place more than 60 food and drug regulators worldwide over the next year, with a particular focus on India, Latin America and the Middle East.
The plan for permanent outposts marks a break from the agency's current practice of sending inspectors abroad on individual assignments. The FDA has been criticized for lax oversight after a string of safety problems with imported products, including contaminated blood-thinning drugs.