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Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (1938)

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1938, enabling the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require new drugs to be shown to be safe before being marketed. This act was passed following the deaths of 107 adults and children in 1937 from using a medicine that was subsequently discovered to be toxic; these deaths increased public support for requiring drugs to be shown to be safe before they could be sold. The act also enabled the FDA to regulate cosmetics and medical devices, require drugs to include labeling with directions and warnings for safe use, ban certain dangerous drugs, define standards for foods, carry out factory inspections, and use federal court injunctions against violators.

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