Thursday, February 08, 2018

Food Law: Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906

Federal regulation of food and drugs in the United States began, in a broad across-the-board way, with the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906.

The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 prohibited the interstate distribution or sale of adulterated and misbranded food and drugs.

Prior to 1906 there were no national food safety regulations in the United Sates. Instead there was a hodgepodge of state and local laws and ordinances that were based more on quality of food than on its safety.

The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 became law mostly because of revelations of unsanitary and unethical practices in the meatpacking industry and because of the many potent and dangerous drugs in the market.

Many products including meats, patented medicines and substances that contained cocaine were sold to an unsuspecting public with labels that did not adequately describe the contents and the safety in consuming them. The Pure Food and Drug Act designated the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) and NF (National Formulary) as the official stands and empowered the federal government to enforce those standards.

The Pure food Act was later superseded in 1938 by Pure Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. This act prohibited any food or drug that is dangerous to health to be sold in interstate commerce.
Food Law: Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906
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