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October 25, 1985

Research resolves uncertainties of regulation

JAMA. 1985;254(16):2208-2209. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360160036006

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Located in the woodlands of what was once part of the Pine Bluff Arsenal's biological warfare facility in Jefferson, Ark, is the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR)—the research arm of the FDA.

Director Ronald Hart, PhD, says the center, which lies approximately 1,600 km (1,000 miles) southwest of the agency's headquarters, "was created to serve as a research base, not just for the FDA, but for other regulatory agencies as well." He goes on to explain that the investigations sponsored by the NCTR combine basic research with the testing, surveillance, and monitoring conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Centers for Disease Control.

Hart emphasizes that the NCTR is not a testing laboratory. "We resolve the uncertainties of regulation," he explains, which involves identifying problems and using basic research. In general, he adds, "all center research programs are directed toward the