The US Food and Drug Administration has said that it hopes to open an office in China in order to safeguard imports to the US.

The move, an FDA representative told just-food today (17 April), marks a departure from the strategy of inspecting imports as they enter the US.

"The safety of imports from China has become an important issue. We have had a lot of health scares arising from unsafe products coming into the country. What we want to do is go out and prevent these problems before they arise," the FDA official said.

The idea behind the move is to increase co-operation between Chinese and US regulators and companies, the FDA added.

"We would start with the one office, but there is obviously scope to expand operations," the FDA told just-food.

It is believed that the FDA hopes to expand the project to include other countries and regions, such as India and Latin America.

The FDA is still awaiting approval from Beijing.