The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Ensuring Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger Regulatory Systems Abroad (2012)

A very high portion of the seafood we eat comes from abroad, mainly from China and Southeast Asia, and most of the active ingredients in medicines we take originate in other countries. Many low- and middle-income countries have lower labor costs and fewer and less stringent environmental regulations than the United States, making them attractive places to produce food and chemical ingredients for export. Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger Regulatory Systems Abroad explains that the diversity and scale of imports makes it impractical for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) border inspections to be sufficient to ensure product purity and safety, and incidents such as American deaths due to adulterated heparin imported from China propelled the problem into public awareness.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Washing your hands with soaps that have residue-producing antibacterial products, such as those containing the chemical triclosan, have been proven to confer health benefits.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Washing with regular soap is considered the most important way to prevent disease transmission. Routine consumer use of residue-producing antibacterial products has no added benefit and may actually contribute to antibiotic resistance.

  • Correct!

    Washing with regular soap is considered the most important way to prevent disease transmission. Routine consumer use of residue-producing antibacterial products has no added benefit and may actually contribute to antibiotic resistance.