Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

In the wake of some food safety scares, experts offer advice for worried consumers.

The headlines have alarmed U.S. consumers: unapproved antibiotics in seafood from China, tainted toothpaste, and deadly pet food adulterated with the industrial chemical melamine.

Lately, many Americans have become concerned about imported food and question whether the nation's food safety system can protect them from tainted foreign products. With threats popping up from surprising sources, how does one stay safe?

Imports from China have drawn the most criticism. But China has no monopoly on tainted food.

"The food safety standards in China and other countries aren't as high as they are in the U.S.," says Chris Waldrop, director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America.

From July 2006 to June 2007, the FDA rejected 1,901 Chinese shipments, according the FDA's web site. During the same period, the agency rejected almost as many shipments from India (1,787) and Mexico (1,560).

Reasons for FDA refusal vary widely: pesticide-laden produce from the Dominican Republic, listeria-contaminated cheese from France, unsafe color additive in cookies from England, and filthy frozen fish from Brazil.

The items most commonly turned away? Typically, vegetables and vegetable products; fishery and seafood products; spices, flavors and salts; and candies.

FDA Inspects Few Imports

Thanks to an increasingly globalized food supply, the average American eats roughly 260 pounds of imported food per year. That's about 13% of a person's diet, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

Food imports regulated by the FDA have increased from 4 million shipments in 2000 to roughly 10 million shipments in 2006, according to CSPI. One-quarter of the U.S. supply of fresh and frozen fruit is imported. And more than 80% of our seafood is imported, according to John Fiorillo, editorial director at the seafood trade publication, Intrafish. "Imports are here to stay," he says. "There's no way that the U.S. could supply the amount of seafood consumed here all by itself."

But an underfunded and overwhelmed FDA is struggling to keep up. The agency, which is responsible for 80% of the nation's domestic and imported food supply, inspects less than 1% of imported food.

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Healthy Recipe Finder