US Food and Drug Administration

Entering the FDA Web site is like opening the door to the world's biggest nutritional-information toy store. So much stuff is on the (virtual) shelves that you hardly know which item to grab first. Luckily, in this store, all the toys are free, and plenty of links to other helpful information mean you can linger here happily for days. Weeks. Years. Maybe forever.

FDA's charter includes drugs as well as food, so on the left of the homepage, you can click on links to information on medicines for people and pets, poisons and side effects, medical devices (think pacemakers), and products that give off radiation. The links under Let Us Hear from You, near the center of the page, let activists report on adverse events ("I took that antibiotic and got hives!") or allow you to contact the FDA with your questions and comments. For foodies (people who want to know ab-so-lute-ly everything about different kinds of food and food preparation), though, the main event is, well, food.

On the FDA homepage, scroll down the left side and click on Food. Doing so takes you to a page headed "Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition" (CFSAN) (, which is more fun than a barrel of, oh, M&M's.

The main page of the food section is devoted to Recent News, Program Areas, National Food Safety Programs, Special Interest Areas, and the ever popular Other Sources of Information. On the left side of the page are links to FDA Documents and sites, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses where you can interact with CFSAN.

Only my editor's insistence that we keep this book to fewer than 1,000 pages prevents me from telling you what's listed under each main headline and then what's listed under the subheads, and then . . . see? Try it. You'll love it.

340 part v|: The part of Tens_

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