Under a Reorganization Plan which became effective on June 30, 1940, the organization of the Federal Security Agency was enlarged: The Food and Drug Administration was transferred from the Department of Agriculture; and Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Freedmen's Hospital, and Federal functions relating to Howard University and the Columbia Institution for the Deaf were transferred to FSA from the Department of the Interior.
As a result of pressure for the Federal Government to control adulterated and misbranded foods and drugs, the Food and Drugs Act was enacted on June 30, 1906. These responsibilities were entrusted to the Bureau of Chemistry in the Department of Agriculture in 1907 and were organized into a Food, Drug and Insecticide Administration in 1927, renamed the Food and Drug Administration in 1931. Transferred to FSA in 1940, FDA also was responsible for administering the Tea Importation Act (1897), the Filled Milk Act (1923), the Caustic Poison Act (1927), and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (1938).
Saint Elizabeths Hospital, created by Act of Congress in 1852 as the Government Hospital for the Insane, received its first patients on January 15, 1855. Founder of Saint Elizabeths was Dorothea Dix, the most prominent humanitarian of the era. The name was changed by Act of Congress in 1916.
Freedmen's Hospital was an outgrowth of the Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees authorized by the Act of March 3, 1865. In 1871, the Hospital was transferred to the Department of the Interior. Howard University was established by an act of March 2, 1867, to provide higher education for Negroes. Education for the deaf was made available in the District of Columbia through the Columbia Institution for the Deaf, which was established by the Act of February 16, 1857. The name was changed to Gal laudet College in 1954.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1943 expanded functions relating to vocational rehabilitation and assigned them to the Federal Security Administrator, who established the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation on September 4, 1943, to carry out these functions. Since the original Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1920, certain vocational rehabilitation and vocational education activities had been a responsibility of the Office of Education, first when it was part of the Department of Interior, then after it became part of FSA in 1939.