Food and drugs have been playing a major part of our existence. At present, unlike before, food has been more accessible to us. More so, drugs is easier to acquire compared to harvesting medicinal plants before. At the advent of technology with the help of man’s advancing knowledge, ways on improving food and drugs quantity and quality for man’s consumption have been developed.
This, together with mass production made everything easier for man. And with the ever-developing guidelines on food handling and drug manufacturing, a regulatory commission is necessary for check, control, and improvement of existing standards.
Having noticed this need, the government itself established a branch under it to conduct what is necessary to assure food and drug safety (Food and Drug Admin..; par.3). This branch is known as the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FFDA). This branch of the government has been doing a good job in safeguarding consumer’s sake (Chapter One…; par. 1).
Since established in 1927 along with the passage of Federal Food and Drug Act, FDA has been true to its fight against tainted goods which might affect consumers.
This branch of the government is under the Department of Health and Human Services has been launching programs to promote safe commodities for the consumers. They handle food products, drugs, blood products, cosmetics, food for animals, medical apparatus, biological products and supplements available in the market (About the Food and Drug Administration; par. 1).
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Aside from this, FDA has passed many laws regarding production, testing, distribution, and consumption of certain products. This in turn regulates the balance and check of what consumers are to purchase and use.
More so, FDA use state-of-the-art technology in detection of risks that may be present enabling them to take corrective actions rapidly. In case there will be problems that may arise from everything that they handle; they will be able to fix it quickly (Detailed Info on the…;par. 2).
Though diligent with their campaign to promote safe food and drugs for the benefits of the consumers in US, the FDA is still thrown with issues regarding its efficacy in the check of all companies and sources of foods, drugs and other commodities.
Among these issues thrown to FDA is that FDA is influenced by significant legislation fees from companies. It was estimated to have reached $380 million for coffers in which the contributors are the most influential consumer companies in North of America (Pitman; par. 7).
Another issue is that FDA is not liable of an explanation of expenses and income to congress. It is a free-standing institution. With this, it is open to outside influences as claimed by its critics (Pitman; par. 8).
These two factors are what consumers and consumer groups alike most likely fear. That, it being open to external influences its routines on checks and maintenance of quality of food and drugs may be at risk (Chapter One…par. 16). A company may overpass series of steps that need to be undertaken before it is approved. It may also
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prevent authorities of FDA from conducting their own test for a new medicine once the decision of FDA has been override. What would be taken for granted according to their claims is the rigid process that each products or substance undergo before it is released in the market. Once bypassed, safety is no longer assured of its consumers.
FDA assured that it will be introducing policies for better transparency between FDA and the people. These measures will be introduced by the advisory council in which no outside influence may be able to affect the scientific process of conducting checks and tests. More so, they will make every meetings and updates in the advisory council be public as much as possible to eliminate distrust in people. Though this transparency offered by FDA was accepted by consumers, their looming question is that up to what extent will FDA allow transparency in their processes be seen (Pitman; par. 13-15).
More so, FDA boasts that they have a fool-proof system in checking different substances passed on to them before release. When testing for food safety, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is the tool required of every food manufacturers. It is a set of steps in which in each step requires detailed reports on possible hazards and identification of critical points in the process. Upon identification, solution on how to prevent the hazard and the critical points are necessary. Upon conduction of this, food products still undergo tests by FDA officials and check of HACCP reports are analyzed (Detailed Information On…; par. 18).
On the other hand, control of drug and other substance production requires another set of complex steps. FDA prided in their top scientific body that checks every
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now and then their drug safety systems. This allows them to stay calm against controversies on claimed loopholes in their system to check efficacy and safety of certain drugs and substances (United States Intensifies…; par. 1). Before a drug is approved, the company report on their conducted test will be reviewed by FDA authorities and FDA will also conduct their own test for that same drug. This will be tested in test animals and then humans to know the outright effects of the drug (Siak; par. 3).
More so, they pride themselves in their system on biologic products control and medical apparatus regulations. They assure the performance, manufacturing, and safety of these products. Once approved, it is just the time that they will announce their recommendation on the products.
Another is that, they are constantly passing on laws and other bills to congress for approval in which stated therein are ways on how to improve and regulate better products passing through them. Projects and decisions are being decided first by the US congress before they approve a propose act by the FDA (Food and Drug <Wikipedia>; par. 15). Amendments are also being passed as to their continuous study they are able to update the status of certain substances. In this process, they were able to learn that some approved safe substance are no longer safe to use upon the advent of man’s knowledge this is discovered.
Complex procedures employed and the continuous revision in steps for improvement has been the key for FDA’s success in assuring the citizen that what they will consume is free from harm. This only establishes FDA as an institution in which the citizen of this country has to put their trust into.
With FDA’s systematic checks and regulation on every food, cosmetics, drug, biological products, food supplements and medical instruments, it may be known that indeed FDA is doing effective as safe guardians of the US consumers (Detailed Information On…; par 1-10). Though one may not be able to say that the system is fool proof but it is evident that FDA is doing the best they can in order to improve their service for the consumers in terms of transparencies and conduction of further researches on certain products to determine its safety and efficacy.
Pitman, S. (2006). FDA Makes Concession Following Criticisms. Retrieved 2007, May
11 from <http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=69543>.
Siak, N.L. (2006). United States Intensifies Fight Against Counterfeit Drugs. Retrieved 2007, May 23 from < http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2006&m=December&x=20061201120711LNkaiS0.2569086>.
(2007). About the Federal Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 2007, May 23 from < http://www.fda.gov/opacom/hpview.html>.
(2007) Chapter One Introduction. Retrieved 2007, May 23 from < http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1018.9/MR1018.9.chap1.html>.
(2007). Detailed Information On the Federal Food and Drug Assessment. Retrieved 2007, May 23 from <http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore/detail/10001057.2003.html>.
(2007). Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 2007, May 11 from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Drug_Administration>.
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