Harvey Wiley, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Federal Regulation of Food and Drugs
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CitationHarvey Wiley, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Federal Regulation of Food and Drugs (2004 Third Year Paper)
AbstractThe Roosevelt and Wiley story is important because it shows the role individuals can have on the course of history. Congressional passage of the Food and Drug Act, as well as the Meat Inspection Act, reflected sweeping changes underway in the shape and direction of the federal government. By advocating food and drug regulation as a federal responsibility, Roosevelt and Wiley helped facilitate the dramatic expansion of the federal governmentâ€™s role in promoting the health and safety of American consumers. Although both grew up as staunchly pro-business Republicans, each came to see a pressing need for at least a degree of federal regulation of the marketplace, particularly in regard to consumer health and safety. Indeed, Roosevelt and Wiley envisioned the Food and Drug Administration as an important ally to free enterprise. They believed that federal regulation would give consumers a higher degree of confidence and security in purchasing food and drug products, which in turn would lead to further market growth. A century of federal food and drug law in the United States has born out that vision. The Roosevelt-Wiley story is thus not only an account of the birth of the Food and Drug Administration; it is an account of the birth of the modern federal government.
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