The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States. It consists of the Office of the Commissioner and four directorates in charge of the agency’s primary functions: Medical Products and Tobacco, Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Global Regulatory Operations and Policy, and Operations. Although FDA’s roots may be traced back to the 1848 foundation of the Agricultural Division of the Patent Office, the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act marked its beginnings as a federal consumer protection agency (USFDA a). This law was the culmination of numerous initiatives aimed at reducing long-standing, significant abuses in the consumer products industry. Harvey Washington Wiley, who at the time served as the chief scientist of the Bureau of Chemistry of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the FDA’s predecessor, advocated vigorously for government public health protection (USFDA a). The 1906 Act was passed because of his efforts and public outrage at the appallingly cloudy conditions in Chicago’s stockyards described in Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” (USFDA a). Eventually, the position of chief chemist at the Bureau of Chemistry evolved into that of the commissioner of food and drugs.
The FDA is headed by the commissioner of food and pharmaceuticals, who is usually a medical doctor and is chosen by the president with Senate confirmation. Janet Woodcock is the interim commissioner, even though numerous members of Congress oppose her nomination for permanent head due to her participation in licensing problematic pharmaceuticals (Klobucista. The agency’s headquarters are located in White Oak, Maryland. It maintains several hundred field offices and over a dozen labs around the U.S. It employed over eighteen thousand workers in 2020 (Klobucista). This includes the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the Center for Tobacco Products, and the Office of Women’s Health. Its budget for the fiscal year 2021 was around $6 billion, with slightly more than half coming from the federal government and the rest through industry user fees (Klobucista). In addition, the agency’s reliance on user fees from the firms it supervises has increased, raising questions about its independence.
In order to protect public health, the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary medications, biological products, and medical devices. Ensure the safety of food, cosmetics, and products that release radiation (USFDA b). The agency safeguards public health and prevents teenage tobacco use; its role lies in regulating tobacco manufacturing, marketing, and distribution (USFDA b). Responsible for improving public health through driving innovation and making medical products more effective, safer, and cost-efficient (USFDA b). Significantly contributes to the nation’s ability to battle terrorism. In response to both artificial and naturally occurring threats to public health, the FDA ensures the safety of the food supply and supports the development of medicinal products.
The FDA regulates many food and medical items, most of which are currently imported. Because public health protects and improves communities by preventing epidemics and the spread of disease, the structure and operations of the FDA are crucial to people’s everyday lives. In addition, they promote healthy behaviors for children and families and protect against potential dangers in the home, workplace, community, and environment. In addition to providing high-quality health care services, safeguarding and improving environmental quality, and preparing for and responding to disasters, their duties also include ensuring high-quality health care services.
In conclusion, the FDA is responsible for guaranteeing the scientific, medical, and nutritional integrity of products utilized by American consumers. Their principal responsibility is safeguarding the public against ineffective and possibly dangerous products. This is made possible by the FDA’s organizational structure, which includes divisions and headquarters offices specialized in numerous areas of safety.
Klobucista, Claire. “What Is the FDA’s Role in Public Health?” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, Web.
“When and Why Was FDA Formed?” U.S. Food and Drug Administration a, FDA, Web.
“What Does FDA Regulate?” U.S. Food and Drug Administration b, FDA, Web.