FDA Regulates … Sunglasses?

Sunglasses — they are an essential part of looking cool, as well as keeping the sun out of your eyes, especially when driving on those summer road trips. However when thinking about looking cool and driving, the Food and Drug Administration rarely comes to mind too. However, FDA regulates sunglasses as a medical device. While this…

Choose Your Charge and Please Hold the Mold

Glass jars filled with delicious apple juice. The label depicts two beautiful, fresh Grade A apples — implying that apples such as these were used to make this yummy looking apple juice. One problem, “rotten, wormy, moldy, black — whatever shouldn’t happen to an apple had happened to those apples” were used to make the…

Why did the Chicken Cross the Road…

To get away from FDA?   At the inception of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in 1906, Americans ate far less than the 35.8 pounds of chicken they do today. Chickens were a delicacy, a treat, that “typically cost 50 cents a pound (about $22 today).” Chicken…

Orange Cats and Color Additive Amendment

Beyond being extremely creepy, this orange cat helped to make the current regulatory regime for color additives in the United States. This orange cat was dyed with an excessive amount of FD&C Orange No. 1 — a previously permitted color additive dating back to the original Pure Food and Drug Act. Excessive amounts of this…

Show-&-Tell: Decomposed Tomatoes in the Ketchup

Before the clean label movement, there was the pure food movement and a major fear was ketchup. This excellent condiment had been associated with being made from decomposed materials. It was this (pure food) which Heinz built its brand-on, and FDA spent its time removed ketchup consisting of decomposed materials from the market – like…

Show-&-Tell: FDA’s Regulation of Fireworks

FDA once regulated the fireworks we are enjoying to celebrate the new year. FDA is one of the oldest consumer protection agency in the United States and, for a longtime, essentially the only agency with such a charge. Thus when Congress passed a new consumer protection law, it historically fell to FDA to implement and enforce…

FDA Approved: Thanksgiving Cranberries

People are familiar with FDA approved drugs and medical devices, but FDA does not approve food items. Except for one year when FDA approved the Thanksgiving cranberries. At a press conference, November 9, 1959, Cabinet Secretary Arthur Flemming announced that FDA testing detected aminotriazole in the cranberry crop from Oregon and Washington State. Aminotriazole is pesticide that caused carcinogen…

Show-&-Tell: FDA at the Port

In 1974, FDA added 14 mobile laboratories, which allowed the Agency to inspect imported foods at the dock. The law gives FDA the authority to examine imported food (and any other FDA commodity) to verify its compliance. If FDA concludes the product appears non-compliant, then FDA shall refuse its importation. This fundamental legal authority has remained…

Show-&-Tell: How Much are you Buying?

How much extract is in this bottle? It’s a standard 2oz size, but actually contains only 1oz. When originally passed, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 did not require the label to declare its contents. Thus fraudsters used various means to trick consumers into buying less. This legal gap was filled by Congress…