U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues [Updated November 8, 2007] [open pdf - 150KB]
"U.S. officials continue to assert that the U.S. food supply, including the portion provided through imports, is among the safest in the world. One challenge has been how to keep it safe in the face of rapidly rising imports, a result of globalization and consumer desire for a wider variety of nutritious and inexpensive foods year-round. Two federal agencies -- USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- are responsible for the majority of the total funding and staffing of the government's food regulatory system. For imports, FSIS relies on a very different regulatory system than FDA, including a differing approach to addressing equivalence, as described in this report."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34198
National Agricultural Law Center: http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/crs/