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Understanding The Role Of The FDA


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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the government agency responsible for the regulation and monitoring of most types of foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and cosmetics. Created in 1927, the FDA was originally formed from a reorganization of the Bureau of Chemistry. Over the years, the FDA has lost and gained regulatory powers of our country's products. The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 expanded the amount of products that the agency was responsible for monitoring. There have been many amendments to the FD&C Act over the years, allowing the agency to develop better methods to regulate our products and to lessen the time taken to “approve" a product for consumer use.

The FDA has two major responsibilities:

1. Examine newly developed food, medical, and cosmetic products for health and safety risks. This includes approving safe products and rejecting products that do not meet the country's safety standards.

2. Order recalls for products that have been released into the market, but that are not safe for consumer use.

Although the Food and Drug Administration works to protect American citizens from harmful products, it has often been surrounded by controversy over the years. Certain groups have accused the FDA of being too slow to approve important drugs and thereby causing prices to skyrocket. It is the claim of these groups that the FDA's slowness harms desperate and sick patients and causes them to suffer as they wait for the drug they need is approved. Others are under the impression that the FDA is influenced by large corporations. It is alleged by these groups that the alliance between the FDA and these corporations causes the FDA to turn a blind eye to some of the faulty or unsafe products produced by certain corporations.

Most recently, a proposal to ban lawsuits over FDA-approved products has been brought before Congress. If approved, the measure would prohibit states or consumers from suing companies for problems with their products, as long as the product has already gained FDA approval. This doctrine, known as preemption, is highly controversial since it would allow the FDA to have the final say on what is and is not safe, despite possible consumer injuries.

To learn more about the FDA and the dangerous injuries associated with recalled products, contact a personal injury lawyer. A skilled attorney will be able to assist you if you have been injured due to a defective product.

Contact a personal injury lawyer today to learn more about your legal rights and have your questions answered.

Joseph Devine


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