Governments



U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND RELATED ORGANIZATIONS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY AND APPLIED NUTRITION CENTER FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE UNITED STATES ANIMAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION NATIONAL JOHNE'S WORKING GROUP ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY


DHHS:- Department of Health

and Human Services

Overview


Governed by Executive Branch of the Government of the United States
Mission Statement To enhance the health and well-being of Americans by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering strong, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.
Secretary Tommy G. ThompsonNew window link indicator
Web Page http://www.dhhs.gov/New window link indicator
 
Overview The Department of Health and Human Services is one of the largest federal departments of the U.S. Government. It is the principal agency charged with protecting the health of the American public.   The department includes more than 300 programs which cover a wide spectrum of activities.  Several of the programs include:
  • Medical and science research
  • Preventing outbreak of infectious disease
  • Assuring food and drug safety

Leadership is provided by Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services.  Under DHHS jurisdiction are 13 agencies, each charged with different responsibilities.  Among these agencies are:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Food and drug Administration (FDA)
  • Office of the Surgeon General

 

Paper TrailSee PARA's Paper TrailNew window link indicator for communications between PARA and various agencies of the U.S. Government.
 
   
   

Before proceeding further, we would encourage you to read the Important Developments Page prior to reading the rest of this webpage. This will give you some background which may be helpful in evaluating the action or inaction taken by DHHS, and to assess PARA's Concerns in light of significant developments that have taken place around the world.


Introduction


There are numerous agencies within DHHS with responsibilities for researching and monitoring all aspects of human disease, including

  • Researching the causes of human diseases
  • Monitoring the status of diseases on a population wide basis, and detecting epidemics before they happen
  • Preventing human disease through control of the causative agent of the disease
  • Preventing food-borne disease and ensuring the safety of human food supplies
  • Researching, development and testing of improved treatments for diseases
  • Providing funding to researchers who are investigating improved testing and treatment methods for existing diseases

The Department of Health and Human Services is the agency ultimately responsible for protecting public health in the United States.

 

PARA's Concerns


The comprehensive research agenda put forth by NIAID certainly paves the way for other agencies responsible for human health and food safety to exercise the precautionary principle and take immediate action to protect the public.

Thus far the only two agencies of DHHS that has seen fit to address this issue are the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On the other hand, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken no action to protect the public. This is a problem that will require collaboration between the various agencies within the U.S. Government. Since several of the key agencies are under DHHS jurisdiction (NIH, CDC, FDA), Secretary Thompson, the official ultimately responsible for the actions of these agencies, bears responsibility for coordinating such an effort.

The only course of action that will effectively deal with this problem is aggressive research to determine the nature of the true relationship between MAP and Crohn's disease, and how we can be protected from this organism which is endemic in our environment.  Funds must be allocated to researchers who have decades of experience working with MAP, so that they can address this problem effectively. In order for this research to succeed, money must be spent. But given that Crohn's disease costs US$4.5 billion per year, and is expected to cost over US$6.5 billion by the year 2005, some millions of dollars spent on research now is a small price to pay. The Department of Health and Human Services must realize that -

  • MAP is everybody's problem.

  • MAP is a problem that is not going to go away. Without aggressive action, it is going to get worse and worse.

   
   

Action You Can Take


Please visit PARA's "How to Help" section to learn how you can get involved in creating awareness about this vital issue. 


Source: http://www.crohns.org/governments/dhhs.htm   
Contact PARA: http://www.crohns.org/contact.htm
Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association, 1999-2003.