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July 4, 1931

THE FEDERAL FOOD AND DRUGS ACT: 1906-1931

JAMA. 1931;97(1):32. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730010036012
Abstract

A quarter of a century ago, on June 30, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Food and Drugs Act specifically designated "for preventing the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines and liquors, and for regulating traffic therein, and for other purposes." This federal measure is popularly known as the Pure Food Law. It has had a wholesome effect that can scarcely be realized today by persons who are not familiar with the conditions that prevailed in the industries and marketing procedures at the beginning of the twentieth century. The situation has been portrayed vividly by Mark Sullivan1 in the volume of "Our Times" entitled America Finding Herself. The chief of the Food and Drug Administration, which now enforces the law, commenting on a quarter century of regulatory work under the statute, recently remarked:

Before the law was passed, the food and drug

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