Did you know that before 1906, there was a high chance that people would find ‘tricks’ instead of treats in their food? Before the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, there were no laws to deter businesses from mislabeling or using fake and possibly harmful ingredients in their products. For example, manufacturers used cheap, but poisonous, substances such as copper, mercury, lead, chalk, and arsenic to produce the bright colors in candy; or replaced flour with sawdust when baking bread. Some medicines were nothing more than sugar water, while others contained drugs, but in unknown strengths and combinations. The Pure Food and Drug Act gave some protection to consumers and paved the way for the eventual creation of the Food and Drug Administration we have today.
We hope that you encounter more treats than tricks today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Part of the Pure Food and Drug Act required businesses to list on the product label if their product contained addictive or dangerous substances such as alcohol, morphine, opium, cannabis,
Some noxious color additives used were chromium oxide or copper acetate for green; lead oxide or mercury sulfide for red; lead chromate for yellow; and arsenic trioxide for white.
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, which described the atrocious conditions and deceitful business practices found in the meatpacking industry sparked outrage in the public and led to legislation for food safety and inspection.
The Pure Food and Drug Act was replaced by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938.
The Pure Food and Drug Act paved the way for what would eventually become the Food and Drug Administration.