Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
agency of the Department of Health and Human Services authorized by Congress to inspect, test, approve, and set safety standards for foods and food additives, drugs, biologics, cosmetics, household and medical devices, veterinary products, tobacco products, and devices that emit radiation. The FDA is empowered to prevent untested products from being sold and to take legal action to halt sale of undoubtedly harmful products or of products which involve a health or safety risk. Through court procedure, the FDA can seize products and prosecute the persons or firms responsible for legal violation. FDA authority is limited to interstate commerce. The agency cannot control prices nor directly regulate advertising except of prescription drugs and medical devices.