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The National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), FDA's internationally recognized research center, plays a critical role in the FDA’s mission. NCTR—in partnership with researchers from elsewhere in FDA, other government agencies, academia, and industry—provides innovative technology, methods development, vital scientific training, and technical expertise. The unique scientific expertise of NCTR is critical in supporting FDA product centers and their regulatory roles.
The Science Advisory Board (SAB) to NCTR advises the NCTR Director in establishing, implementing, and evaluating the research programs that assist the FDA Commissioner in fulfilling his regulatory responsibilities. The Board provides an extra-agency review in ensuring that the research programs at NCTR are scientifically sound and pertinent. The SAB consists of a core of nine members including the Chair. Members and the Chair are selected by the FDA Commissioner or designee from among leading authorities in the fields related to toxicological research. The core of voting members may include one technically qualified member, selected by the Commissioner or designee, who is identified with consumer interests and is recommended by either a consortium of consumer-oriented organizations or other interested persons.
Ranch Hand Advisory Committee
(Inactive as of September 2006)
Having completed a thorough evaluation of the long-term effects of Agent Orange and other phenoxy herbicides to the satisfaction of the department of Health and Human Services and the National Center for Toxicological Research, the committee met for the final time on September 7, 2006.
In December 1979, the United States Air Force began investigating the possible long-term health effects of phenoxy herbicides (including Agent Orange) and contaminants (specifically dioxin) by conducting epidemiologic studies, known as the Ranch Hand Study, on U.S. Veterans who participated in the U.S. Army’s deployment of herbicides in Vietnam during “Operation Ranch Hand,” The conduct of the study was overseen by an independent monitoring committee, the Ranch Hand Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee, established in 1981, was under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services, and was directed by the Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research. It consisted of nine members, of which not less than one-third were selected by the Secretary of Health and Human Services from scientists recommended by U.S. Veterans organizations. Committee meetings were held approximately twice annually, from 1999 through 2006, and were open to the public except when directed by the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
If you have questions or comments about these advisory committees, please contact the Designated Federal Officer, Margaret A. Miller, Ph.D. at 301-827-6693 or Margaret.Miller@fda.hhs.gov.