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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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This Week In FDA History - May 7, 1930

Photo of stringless beans in three jars.
  A panel from a 1933 exhibit dubbed "American Chamber of Horrors" intended to raise the public's consciousness about the need for a stronger food and drug law. The examples illustrated the need for better, more consistent food standards
May 7, 1930:
McNary-Mapes Amendment to the Pure Food and Drugs Act is passed. The so-called "Canner's Amendment" authorized FDA standards of quality and fill-of-container for canned food, excluding meat and milk products.

FDA in 2006

Under the current Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which superseded the McNary-Mapes amendment, the FDA has authority to establish more stringent standards for foods. The agency has established standards of identity, quality, and fill-of-container for many common foods. According to the FD&C Act, these standards are to be established whenever they "will promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers."
Standards of identity define what a given food product is, its name, and its ingredients. Standards of quality are minimum standards only and establish specifications for quality requirements. Fill-of-container standards define how full the container must be and how this is measured. Some standards for foods set nutritional requirements, such as those for enriched bread, or nonfat dry milk with added vitamins A and D.