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Guam ties up with FDA to strengthen consumer protection

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Guam has officially teamed up with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to beef up public health and consumer protection through the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program.

The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services and the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency today signed a three-year partnership agreement with the FDA's Office of Regulatory Affairs.

According to the governor's office, the agreement will help establish a permanent FDA presence on Guam to support a more secure supply chain and address threats from fraudulent, misbranded, adulterated and potentially dangerous products such as opioids, medical devices, biological products, tobacco products, foods and cosmetics.

“At the FDA, partnerships are key to strengthening public health. This valued collaboration with Guam empowers us to keep potentially dangerous products away from American consumers,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said.

“Enhancing our imports engagement will help to ensure products entering and passing through this region are safe. Our partnership agreement positions us to respond to import challenges more efficiently and helps ensure that we keep fulfilling our shared mission to protect and promote health and safety.”

Educational and community outreach to advance this program is a key component of the agreement in combination with collaborative activities related to the oversight of such imported products, incorporating enhanced investigatory communication, criminal investigative engagement, identifying opportunities for laboratory engagement, and training opportunities, among others.

“Uniting our local forces in public health and border protection with our partners at the FDA is integral to establishing and operating by the appropriate public health and consumer protection standards our people deserve,” said acting Gov. Joshua Tenorio. “The efforts carried out by this agreement directly support the preservation of life, our well-being and resilience as an island community and nation.”

“This partnership serves as a testament to the department’s mission in keeping the people of Guam safe. By ensuring products are safe and legitimate at the point of entry, we protect our residents and visitors from potential illnesses or harm,” Public Health Director Arthur San Agustin said.

“I welcome this partnership agreement between the FDA, DPHSS and CQA. The agreement supports the enforcement of the Federal Food Drug, and Cosmetic Act at our borders, ensuring that all regulated goods and commodities entering Guam are properly screened according to entry requirements,” CQA Director Ike Peredo said.

“This vital collaboration between our agencies, and the training it will provide to CQA officers, are instrumental to our ability to safeguard our people’s quality of life by intercepting threats to our health, economy, and natural resources, in accordance with local and federal standards and regulations - the forefront of CQA’s priorities," Peredo added.

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