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May 10, 1947


JAMA. 1947;134(2):206. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880190094023

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To the Editor:—  Two alternatives are recognized in the matter of who, if any one, should be director of a possible division of the government concerned with health and its ramifications: (1) a medical man or (2) a layman. As to the department handling food and drug matters, history might shed some light. While prior to 1906 the duties of this agency were performed while it was a part of the Department of Agriculture, running back to Civil War times, it became a potent institution for recognizing irregularities in food and drug production and distribution in 1907. Harvey W. Wiley was an aggressive member of the food and drug group, beginning in the capacity of chief chemist in 1883 and ending this service in 1912.Since the founding of the American Medical Association in 1847, it has been interested in quality of drugs and during the lifetime of my father,

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