Claudette T. Guilford is the Director of the
Consumer Affairs and Information Staff, Office of Regulatory Affairs, United
States Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC.
Consumer involvement has been an inherent aspect of food control
in the United States since 1906 when the Food and Drug Act was passed. Since 25
percent of the goods purchased by Americans are regulated by the Food arid Drug
Administration (FDA), the public clearly has a strong interest in the agency's
policies and activities. In its efforts to provide access, information,
education and assistance to consumers, FDA has initiated a number of activities.
The consumer education mission of FDA is to inform and educate consumers about
FDA's policies and programmes and the impact they have on public health; to
facilitate a dialogue between consumers and the agency; and to ensure that
consumer views are included in FDA's decision-making