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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine Timeline

Historic events in CVM’s mission to protect human and animal health

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     History of CVM Timeline
    —Congress passes the Pure Food and Drugs Act after public outrage over unsanitary conditions in U.S. meat-packing plants. This is the first law that defines and provides penalties for “misbranding” and “adulteration” of products regulated under the act.
  • 1927—The Food, Drug, and Insecticide Administration, the forerunner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is formed. The first veterinarian, Dr. Henry Moskey, is hired to evaluate nutritional and medicinal claims for vitamins and minerals.
  • 1938—Congress passes the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFD&C Act). This law requires manufacturers to show products are safe before marketing them. Three different sections of the act address animal drugs.
  • 1940—An Office of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs is established.
  • 1953—FDA is organized into five bureaus. The Bureau of Medicine includes a Veterinary Medical Branch, which determines if animal drugs are safe for the treated animals and for people who eat food made from treated animals.
  • 1962—Congress passes the Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments to strengthen the FFD&C Act. Drug manufacturers must show drugs are safe and effective before marketing them. FDA can now monitor clinical drug trials, including clinical trials for investigational animal drugs. FDA also has increased authority to inspect factories.
  • 1965—The Bureau of Veterinary Medicine (BVM) is created, recognizing the important link between animal health and public health. A veterinarian and lawyer, Dr. M.R. Clarkson, is the bureau’s first director.
  • 1968—Congress amends the FFD&C Act to consolidate the three sections addressing animal drugs into one.
  • 1976—BVM is organized into four areas: 1) Pre-approval review of animal drug and food additive applications; 2) Post-approval surveillance and compliance; 3) Administration; and 4) Research.
  • 1984—BVM becomes the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM).
  • 1988—Congress passes the Generic Animal Drug and Patent Term Restoration Act. This law amends the FFD&C Act to allow FDA to approve generic copies of brand name animal drugs.
  • 1989—The Green Book, a publically-available list of approved animal drugs, publishes for the first time.
  • 1994—Congress passes the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act. This law amends the FFD&C Act to allow veterinarians to use approved animal and human drugs in an extra-label manner, under certain circumstances.
  • 1996—FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention create the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System.
  • 2004—Congress passes the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act. This law amends the FFD&C Act to help make more drugs legally available to treat minor species and uncommon diseases in major species.
  • 2008—Joint effort between two FDA centers, CVM and the Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research, to approve the first human health product made by genetically engineered animals. The product, ATryn, is a human anti-clotting agent produced by genetically engineered goats in their milk.
  • 2010—FDA and the National Institutes of Health launch the online Safety Reporting Portal to improve analysis of safety information. The public can now electronically report safety problems related to reportable foods, pet foods (including pet treats), animal drugs, and human gene transfer trials.
  • 2011—CVM celebrates World Veterinary Year, marking the 250th anniversary of the founding of the world’s first veterinary school in Lyon, France.

Today, CVM is an internationally-recognized public health organization. CVM evaluates, approves, and monitors animal drugs and food additives. CVM also monitors marketed animal devices and animal feed, including pet foods. By making sure safe and effective products are on the market for animals, CVM protects both human and animal health.