Sunday, March 8, 2015

The creation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Food and Drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 1837 the patent commissioner, Henry Ellsworth, made the first call for national center for science to support the agricultural industry.

Over the next thirty years his successors Edmund Burke, Thomas Ewbank and Charles Mason repeatedly asked Congress to appropriate funds to support scientific investigations, particularly of the food industry.

Commissioner Thomas Ewbank in 1850 established an Agriculture Division within the Patent Office, and somewhere between 1858 and 1860 the first analytical chemist was hired. In1862, President Lincoln appointed chemist Charles M. Wetherill to head the Chemical Division in the new US Department of Agriculture.

Wetherill’s successor as chief chemist of the USDA, Peter Collier, began working on the ubiquitous problem of food adulteration.

Harvey W. Wiley was names to replace Collier in 1883, leading the division as it grew into the Bureau of Chemistry in 1901. He campaigned for Congress to draft a law to regulate food and drug products.

On 30 June 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Food and Drugs Act, simply known as Wiley Act.  Prior to the act, states set their own domestic regulations with regard to food and drug commodities.

This act, which the Bureau of Chemistry was charged to administer, prohibited the interstate transport of unlawful food and drugs under penalty of seizure of the questionable products and/or prosecution of the responsible parties.

In 1927 Congress authorized the formation of the Food, Drug and Insecticide Administration from regulatory wing of the Bureau of Chemistry; the name of the agency was shortened to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

The mission of the US Food and Drug Administration is to protect public health by ensuring the safety and security of the products that regulates – foods, drugs, cosmetics, biologics, veterinary products, medical devices and products that emit radiation.
The creation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

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