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The Importance of Self-Regulation in the Fragrance and Flavor Industry Views of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Contact Author Frank E. Young, MD, PhD
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Forces of Change

Your industry is special. It’s special because of its truly interdependent and international character. It’s special because of its historical origins--the role it’s played through time in expressing culture and in enriching human lives. And it’s special because of its diversity--from the small farmers who supply raw materials from all corners of the world, to the major companies who use flavors and fragrances in their products. These special qualities make your industry sensitive to change. And today your industry faces a period of major transition--a period of enormous scientific advances and increased global interactions.

In this respect we share a common bond. The government agency I lead also is experiencing the pressures of change. Both face similar challenges: unleashing the promise of science, smoothing the way for international trade, assuring safe and wholesome products, and maintaining consumer confidence. Effectively meeting these challenges will require diligent efforts from both government and industry, but by working together, we can assure safer and better products for the marketplace and bring about an improved quality of life.

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Keeping in mind our shared purposes, I want to discuss with you today the role of the Food and Drug Administration in regulating flavors and fragrances in the United States. I also would like to address the growing importance of international cooperation in regulatory matters.

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