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Federal Food and Drug Act Violations

NCJ Number
American Criminal Law Review Volume: 28 Issue: 3 Dated: special issue (1991) Pages: 501-515
H Hein; C Guthrie; R Collins; S Meyers
Date Published
15 pages
The goal of the 1938 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), which continues to regulate the food, drug, and cosmetic industries, is to protect the health and safety of the public by preventing deleterious, adulterated, or misbranded articles from entering interstate commerce and to sanction those who violate its provisions through criminal penalties, injunctions, and seizure of adulterated or misbranded goods.
This review of violations of the FDCA addresses standards of criminal liability, defense challenges to the provisions of the FDCA, enforcement, Food and Drug Authority (FDA) inspections and sanctions, and the use of the criminal provisions of the Act as in the Beech-Nut case. Although the FDA's approach to violations of the FDCA has remained substantially the same for the past few years, it seems to be widening the scope of violations it pursues and holding individual corporate executives accountable for their decisions. The FDA is investigating potential abuses immediately upon their discovery and acting upon any findings of violations by seizing and recalling such adulterated or misbranded goods. Greater use of the Act's criminal provisions in more dangerous situations potentially could prevent further violations. 124 footnotes