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date: 26 May 2022

Pure Food and Drug Act. 

Source:
The Oxford Companion to United States History
Author(s):
John D. BuenkerJohn D. Buenker

Signed into law on 30 June 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, the Food and Drugs Act—popularly know as the Pure Food and Drug Act—with its companion piece the Meat Inspection Amendment, originated the regulatory apparatus that became the Food and Drug Administration. This landmark statute prohibited the “misbranding” of any foodstuff or pharmaceutical offered for sale or their “adulteration” by any ingredient not specified on the label. Congress authorized the Bureau of Chemistry of the Department of Agriculture to enforce the law by testing random specimens for misbranding or adulteration, notifying suspect manufacturers, and granting them a hearing. Only if a manufacturer refused to comply could the bureau turn the case over to a district attorney for prosecution. Convictions carried fines of up to three hundred dollars and imprisonment for up to one year, with confiscation of the offending product the ultimate punishment.... ...

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