Panel pressing for FDA recall authority

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An advisory commission is urging Congress and President George Bush to give the Food and Drug Administration authority institute product recalls instead of only being able urge business to do so.

The commission was formed in July after a number tainted products such as dog food, toys and toothpaste were recalled.

The panel is also urging the increase of U.S. inspectors from Customs, the Border Patrol and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to oversee product import safety.

A third recommendation calls for establishing a certification program for companies with a proven track record for meeting safety standards.

The Food and Drug Administration, which is part of the Health and Human Services Department, oversees the regulation of medical devices and more than $1 trillion annually worth of food, drugs, cosmetics, animal feed and other products, which account for 25 cents of every dollar spent each year by Americans.