Resources for You
How did the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act come about?
The first comprehensive federal consumer protection law was the 1906 Food and Drugs Act, which prohibited misbranded and adulterated food and drugs in interstate commerce. Arguably the pinnacle of Progressive Era legislation, the act nevertheless had shortcomings—gaps in commodities it covered plus many products it left untouched—and many hazardous consumer items remained on the market legally.
The political will to effect a change came in the early 1930s, spurred on by growing national outrage over some egregious examples of consumer products that poisoned, maimed, and killed many people.
The tipping point came in 1937, when an untested pharmaceutical killed scores of patients, including many children, as soon as it went on the market. The enactment of the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act tightened controls over drugs and food, included new consumer protection against unlawful cosmetics and medical devices, and enhanced the government’s ability to enforce the law. This law, as amended, is still in force today.
- What safety information is available for FDA-regulated medical products and foods?
- How do I report a problem with an FDA-regulated product?
- How can I share my ideas and suggestions with FDA?
- Where should I go to find consumer information on www.FDA.gov?
- FDA's MedWatch Program: Voluntarily Reporting Problems to the FDA
- What does FDA regulate?
- What does FDA inspect?
- When and why was FDA formed?
- What is the difference between the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), FDA regulations, and FDA guidance?
- What does FDA do?
- How is FDA organized?
- How many people are employed by FDA and in what areas do they work?
- What non-government websites does FDA recommend?
- What other government-supported websites does FDA recommend as reliable sources for health-related information?
- FDA Basics Webinar: FDA Office of Minority Health - Steps to Address Health Disparities
- How can the public request documents from FDA?
- Materials from Webinar on Inspection Process
- FDA Webinar on Foreign Inspections
- FDA MedWatch Webinar
- What is FDA Basics for Industry?
- FDA Basic Video: Kathleen Uhl on the Office of Women's Health (Video)
- Why can’t I import some drugs that are approved and sold in the United States?
- Is it legal for me to personally import drugs?
- What is a docket? How do I submit comments to a docket? How do I find comments submitted to a docket?
- How do I find the latest information on the Web site? How do I sign up for e-mails and alerts?
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