Find FDA offices, centers, labs and buildings of the US Food and Drug Administration. FDA offices provide information on food safety and recalls, drugs, pharmaceutical and medication approval, research, testing and regulation, medical devices, vaccines, cosmetics, tobacco products and regulatory science and consumer safety.
What is the FDA?
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a federal agency that promotes public health by monitoring and regulating products intended for public consumption. It's a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is the primary source for information regarding food and medicinal safety. This agency enforces legislative measures aimed at protecting consumer safety through supervision and regulatory control of food products, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, vaccines, medical devices, tobacco products, veterinary products including pet food, and cosmetics. The agency conducts research, including testing consumable products, and helps to protect consumers from misinformation and potentially harmful substances. The FDA also issues recalls when the safety of a product becomes compromised.
The FDA is responsible for
- Regulation of food and dietary supplements. The agency oversees the quality of substances sold as food, food additives and dietary supplements in the U.S. It requires standardized labeling of nutritional products. These regulations protect the consumer from harmful substances and false advertising.
- Pharmaceutical and medication approval, including new drug screening. The FDA holds prescription drug companies to a high safety standard, regulating every step of production from manufacturing and testing to labeling and marketing. Before a new drug becomes available, its maker is required to submit applications and undergo FDA review. Over-the-counter medicines must undergo additional testing before becoming available on the market.
- Tobacco and cosmetics regulations. Due to the harmful nature of tobacco products, the agency limits advertising and availability, and requires warnings to be placed on packaging. Not all cosmetic products on the market have been FDA approved, and the agency requires these products to be labeled accordingly.
- Medical device quality. The FDA is responsible for approval of all medical devices, including those intended for personal hygiene, medical data collection, or implantation in the body. The agency also examines the safety performance of non-medical devices that emit electromagnetic radiation such as cellphones and tanning booths.
- After-market safety surveillance. Unsafe products occasionally reach consumers despite FDA regulations. The products may be contaminated, or new research may uncover harmful effects of a previously-approved drug. The agency issues recall and safety warnings when evidence points to a breach in product safety.
Are there different types of FDAs?
In the United States, there is only one federal FDA. It exists alongside other agencies, like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resource Services Administration. Yet, each state has its own similar organization.