historypreproposal - Van Camp 1 Katie Van Camp Professor...

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Van Camp 1 Katie Van Camp Professor Orth HIST 322 29 January 2008 Proposal For my senior project I intend on exploring the impact of Food Law’s development on society since its birth in 1906. The numerous regulations first took flight in the early 20 th century and have been continuously changing and improving throughout the years. Legislation regarding farm to table practices have helped mold America’s integrity and values. I will be investigating the development of these laws and their impact on America’s consumption of food by consulting several primary and secondary sources throughout history. The origin of food law can be dated back to the Hebrews and Egyptians with their restrictions on handling meat, but it wasn’t until later that unsanitary and malpractice became an evident problem in America. Misbranded and adulterated food products were all too common within the industry and the uncertainty of a food’s identity was beyond frightening. Buttons weren’t pushed until 1906 when Upton Sinclair wrote his novel The Jungle that portrayed the repulsive and appalling practices within the meat packing industry. “It was too dark in these storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of rat” (Sinclair). In the same year, on June thirtieth, the original Food and Drug Act was signed by Theodore Roosevelt prohibiting interstate commerce in misbranded and adulterated foods, drinks, and drugs. The very next day, the Meat Inspection Act was passed which addressed the issues illustrated in Sinclair’s novel. This also marked the beginning of a highly interactive government with food regulation because they noted the importance of quality assurance and wanted to protect the public’s health. Because these first comprehensive federal food laws implied additional work and further legal issues, large industries were largely opposed to the legislature despite its necessity for safety. After instating
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Van Camp 2 the laws, there were many legal cases that pointed to weak aspects in the legislature and showed the necessity for amendments. The laws underwent multiple changes during the early 20 th century to adjust existing rules, maturing federal control over food. The most important change was the complete revision of laws, which created a new version of collected guidelines passed in 1938 titled the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. These most specifically readjusted pre-market testing on drugs and allowed for spontaneous inspection. The government then became responsible for developing standards, and oversaw truthful packaging and labeling. This new outlook on regulation required the three branches of
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