American consumers continually demand more fresh produce and food throughout the year, in particular during nonproductive seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. Consumer demand escalates food imports and requires delivering more tonnage through the current U.S. Ports of Entry (POE). Increased volumes of imported foods with ever-increasing velocity have been associated with significant food safety risks (unintentional food contamination from pathogens, chemical, or physical agents) and food defense risks (intentional food contamination by disgruntled employees or terrorists). While import inspections should help protect against outbreaks of food-borne illnesses, as well as plant or animal pests and diseases, it is neither possible nor optimal to inspect all produce at the POE. This chapter focuses on the impacts of increased international trade on the marketing system, emphasizing the sourcing of products from other countries, inspection and surveillance activities, and policies to mitigate potential market failure from food safety/defense risks. A framework to evaluate economic efficiency of policies and tools used to ensure imported food quality is discussed.

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