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Bureaucracy and You

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By erniebyrd
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Pages 3
Bureaucracy and You
August 7, 2011

The Federal Bureaucracy affects so many aspects of my day to day life that it can be difficult to narrow it down. Everything that I do, from drive my vehicle, my recent home purchase, the food I eat and especially the food that I purchase. Even the internet that I have to use in order to take my classes online is controlled by our government. Everything that we do in our daily lives has been made capable of our government. It has already had to be preapproved and inspected in order for us to use or consume the product.
I think of all the things that are affected by the federal bureaucracy the agencies that I was least amazed by were the Department of Transportation and the Internal Revenue Service. I believe that I was least amazed by these two agencies because they seem too obvious. We all know that we have to pay taxes on everything (from clothing, gas, cable, electricity, etc). We cannot escape it. The same goes with the roads that we all have to drive on in order to get from point A to point B.
The agency that surprised me the most was the U.S Food and Drug Administration (also known as the FDA). The FDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (fda.gov 2011). Because of my son’s severe food allergies, I was very aware that this agency was in charge of regulating the allergy warning labels on food products. I was not aware that they are also responsible for assuring the safety and security of veterinary drugs, medical devices, and products that give off radiation. I was also very surprised to learn that the FDA is responsible for regulating tobacco products (fda.gov 2011).
What I learned about the FDA is that it is the oldest consumer protection agency in the United States federal government (fda.gov 2011). It was appointment by Lewis Caleb Beck in the Patent Office in 1848 to carry out the chemical analyses of agricultural products, but it did not become known as the FDA until around 1930 (fda.gov 2011). The FDA has undergone many changes since 1906 but the core public health mission of the agency has remained the same.
Some very significant changes that occurred within the agency throughout the years was in 1897 when the Tea Importation Act was passed which made it mandatory for customs to inspect all tea entering the U.S. (fda.gov 2011). In 1906 the Food and Drugs Act was passed prohibiting interstate commerce in misbranded and adulterated foods, drinks and drugs. That same day the Meat Inspection act was also passed. These were both prompted by the disclosures of insanitary conditions in meat-packaging plants, along with the use of poisonous preservatives in foods (fda.gov 2011).
A very fascinating thing that I found out about the agency is that the FDA regulates $1 trillion worth of products a year (fda.gov 2011). I also found it very interesting that the FDA ensures the safety of blood and tissues that are used for transplantation (fda.gov 2011).
The FDA was recently in the news (August 3, 2011) for approving the first specific treatment for scorpion stings. They have approved a drug that can be used by children and adults to treat scorpion stings. The FDA has also been making news headlines on a proposed ‘gluten-free’ food labeling rule which would create a uniform and enforceable definition (fda.gov 2011).

U.S Department of Health & Human Services FDA U.S Food and Drug Administration www.fda.gov Retrieved August 10, 2011

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