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Pure Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act

THE PURE FOOD movement, which surfaced in the decade after the Civil War and the appointment of Dr. Harvey W. Wiley as the sixth head of the Department of Chemistry, was the motivating force behind the early call to prevent the sale of harmful, tainted, or misbranded food and drugs being sold in the United States. In response to these efforts, Congress passed the Food and Drug Act of 1906 over the objections of the whiskey distilleries and the patent food industry which were afraid the new law would put them out of business. With the passage of the law, federal officials had the authority to seize illegal products and to prosecute those who manufactured them. By 1908, Wiley employed 28 food and drug inspectors. ...

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