The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and it is one of the nation's oldest and most respected consumer protection agencies.
FDA's mission is:
- to promote and protect the public health by helping safe and effective products reach the market in a timely way,
- To monitor products for continued safety after they are in use, and
- To help the public get the accurate, science-based information needed to improve health.
FDA-regulated products are many things from the most common food ingredients to complex medical and surgical devices, lifesaving drugs, and radiation-emitting consumer and medical products.
At the heart of all FDA's regulatory activities is a judgment about whether a new product's benefits to users will outweigh its risks. Science-based, efficient risk management allows the agency to provide the most health promotion and protection at the least cost to the public.
Some of The FDA Activites and Responsibilties:
•FDA safeguards the nation's food supply by making sure that all ingredients used in foods are safe, and that food is free of contaminants -- like disease-causing organisms, chemicals, or other harmful substances. The agency must approve new food additives before they can be used in foods.FDA also monitors the safety of dietary supplements and the content of infant formulas and medical foods. * Meat and poultry products, however, are regulated by the USDA.
•FDA regulates all medical devices, from very simple items like tongue depressors or hermometers to very complex technologies such as heart pacemakers and dialysis machines. However, only the most complex medical devices are reviewed by the agency before marketing.
•FDA also protects the public from unnecessary exposure to radiation from electronic products. These include microwave ovens, cell phones, x-ray equipment, lasers, medical ultrasound and MRI machines, and many other consumer, industrial, and medical products. FDA's responsibilities in this area include special monitoring of mammography facilities to be sure that their equipment is safe and they are properly run.
•FDA regulates drugs and devices used for animals, both pets and animals that produce food. Before manufacturers can market animal drugs (including drugs used in animal feeds), they must gain FDA approval by providing proof of their safety and effectiveness. Veterinary medical devices do not have to be pre-approved by FDA before marketing, but they still must be safe, effective, and properly labeled. Livestock drugs are evaluated for their safety to the environment and to the people who eat the animal products. FDA makes sure that any drug residues that remain in these foods aren’t harmful to the consumers who eat them.
•FDA monitors cosmetic products to be sure that they are safe and properly labeled. But these products and their ingredients are not reviewed or approved by FDA before they are sold to the public, and FDA cannot require safety testing.
•Consumers rely on product labels to know what the product is and how to use it. FDA regulates what's on these labels to ensure that they are truthful and that they provide useable information that helps consumers make healthy, safe decisions when using the product.