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Pure Food and Drug Act

Pure Food and Drug Act
Act(s) amended
Title(s) amended
U.S.C. sections created
U.S.C. sections substantially amended
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the as by on
  • Committee consideration by:
  • Passed the on ()
  • Passed the on ()
  • Signed into law by President on
Major amendments

The Pure Food and Drug Act of June 30, 1906 is a United States federal law that provided for federal inspection of meat products, and forbade the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated food products or poisonous patent medicines. The Act arose due to public education and exposées from authors such as Upton Sinclair and Samuel Hopkins Adams, social activist Florence Kelley, researcher Harvey W. Wiley, and President Theodore Roosevelt.

Though the Pure Food and Drug Act was initially concerned with making sure products were labeled correctly (habit forming cocaine-based drugs were not illegal so long as they were labeled correctly), the labeling requirement gave way to efforts to outlaw certain products that were not safe, followed by efforts to outlaw products which were safe but not efficacious. Ironically, Coca-Cola Company's earlier advertising behind the Act was rewarded by an attempt to outlaw Coca-Cola in 1909 because of its excessive caffeine content as well as its cocaine content, albeit minuscule. In the case United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, the judge found that Coca-Cola had a right to use caffeine as it saw fit, although excessive litigation costs caused Coca-Cola to settle out of court with the United States Government. The caffeine amount was reduced.

The 1906 Act paved the way for the eventual creation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is generally considered to be that agency's founding date. The law itself was largely replaced by the much more comprehensive Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938.

See also

  • Food safety
  • Meat Inspection Act
  • Quackery

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pure_Food_and_Drug_Act". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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