Letters on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Federal Food and Drug Act of 1906.
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased that we can join today in observing the 60th anniversary of the Federal Food and Drugs Act.
Congress, through the years, has built upon the foundations of the Federal Food and Drugs Act. The Food and Drug Administration has been given even larger responsibilities through these decades of revolutionary scientific and technological change.
The 89th Congress, as part of its record of accomplishment, enacted legislation last year to combat the illegal traffic in dangerous drugs. This year, I proposed to the Congress the Child Safety Act, the Drug Safety Act, and the Professional Training and Cooperation Amendments--all major steps to the work that Congress began in 1906.
We must and will protect our children from the potential hazards posed by drugs, household products, and toys that contain dangerous substances. We must and will insure the integrity of drugs vital to the health of all our citizens. And we must and will forge new links of cooperation between the Federal Government and the State and local governments--in not only professional training and cooperation, but in many other areas so vital to consumer health and well being.
I am confident that the Congress will respond to today's needs just as it did in 1906. In turn, we in the Executive Branch are moving ahead to protect and improve the health of this Nation's people. As one more step in this continuing effort, last week I assigned the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare the responsibility for developing a computer-based file of toxicological information. This is a critical tool in maintaining productive use of many chemical substances now available without endangering the environment in which we live.
I am confident that the program you have initiated to strengthen the organization and capabilities of the Food and Drug Administration will continue--thus assuring that the vision of Dr. Wiley and others who shared in his work will not be dimmed by time.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
[Honorable John W. Gardner, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C.]
Dear Dr. Goddard:
The greatness of our Nation is in large measure the sum of individual contributions by strong and selfless men and women. For this reason, I believe there can be no more appropriate commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the passage of the Federal Food and Drugs Act than the recognition you are according Dr. Harvey W. Wiley today. No one man did more to achieve this landmark legislation than Dr. Harvey W. Wiley.
The 1906 Act was an important first step in the effort to assure American families that the food they bought and the medicines they used were wholesome and safe. Time and again, Congress has strengthened the original Act of 1906 as new hazards were exposed in the wake of scientific and technological progress. This year, I have asked Congress to enact additional legislation to protect our children from the tragedy of accidental poisoning from drugs and hazardous substances and assure the quality of our medicines.
The Food and Drug Administration has changed as its responsibilities have grown. Today, few agencies of Government have as vital a concern with the welfare of every American family as does the FDA. Just a little more than five months ago, I asked you to assume the challenge of strengthening the Food and Drug Administration to carry out fully and fairly the enlarged responsibilities which Congress has given the agency in recent years. Your progress, and that of the agency, in this brief period has been truly impressive. I know that the capabilities of the Food and Drug Administration will continue to grow, as they must to meet the challenges that we face today and those that will come tomorrow.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
[Honorable James L. Goddard, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C.]
Note: On the same day the White House issued an announcement in honor of the occasion. "Thursday, June 30," the release noted, "is the 60th anniversary of the passage of the Federal Food and Drug Act of 1906, frequently referred to as the Wiley Act. Dr. Harvey Wiley, the Chief Chemist of the United States Department of Agriculture, led the national movement for better consumer protection in the areas of foods and drugs. Upon signing the first Food and Drug Act into law, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Dr. Wiley to be the first administrator of the program.
"In celebration of the anniversary, the Food and Drug Administration will dedicate a portrait of Dr. Wiley to be placed in the lobby of the new Food and Drug Administration building."
The letters to Secretary John W. Gardner and Commissioner James L. Goddard were posted on the bulletin board in the press room. They were not made public in the form of a White House press release.
For the President's assignment of responsibility for developing a computer-based file of toxicological information to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (referred to in the letter to Secretary Gardner) see Item 280.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Letters on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Federal Food and Drug Act of 1906. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/238584