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  6. FDA's Legal Authority
  1. FDA’s Evolving Regulatory Powers

FDA's Legal Authority

The federal regulation of food, drugs, cosmetics, biologics, medical products and tobacco is legally mandated by acts of the United States Congress.  Since the early-20th century, the laws that establish FDA's regulatory authority have been modified to cover new product areas, expand enforcement powers, provide for new funding sources, modernize surveillance, inspection and investigative methods and enhance public education efforts.   

The articles below offer deeper insight into ways in which legal reforms and case precedent have transformed FDA's regulatory powers through the years.

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