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The mission of the Food Drug Administration is to enforce laws enacted by the US Congress and regulations established by the Agency to protect the consumers health safety and pocketbook The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act is the basic food and drug law of the US With numerous amendments it is the most extensive law of its kind in the world The law is intended to assure the consumer that foods are pure and wholesome safe to eat and produced under sanitary conditions that drugs and devices are safe and effective for their intended uses that cosmetics are safe and made from appropriate ingredients and that all labeling and packaging is truthful informative and not deceptive The job of the FDA could be considered an ethical dilemma in itself The ethical dilemma of the FDA is found in the fact that one organization is given the supremacy and task of deciding what drugs are used in life saving and life improvement but by narrowing the assignment of the FDA down to one instance will demonstrate the ethical perplexity faced by the Food Drug Administration That one illustration is the approval of the drug thalidomide In the early 1960s the very mention of the word thalidomide was enough to conjure up the vision of a parents worst nightmare the birth of a deformed child During that period approximately 8000 babies were born in Europe with severe defects after their mothers had taken thalidomide The drug a sedative had been virtually untested for its effects on pregnancy Thalidomide first appeared in Germany on the 1st of October 1957 It was marketed as a sedative with apparently remarkably few side effects The drug company who developed it believed it was so safe it was suitable for prescribing to pregnant women to help combat morning sickness But towards the end of the fifties children began to
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