Food and Drug Legislation in the New Deal

Food and Drug Legislation in the New Deal

CHARLES O. JACKSON
Copyright Date: 1970
Pages: 262
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x1b4x
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  • Book Info
    Food and Drug Legislation in the New Deal
    Book Description:

    In June 1938, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a new Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the first major legislation regulating these industries since the 1906 Wiley law. Eliminating many serious and long-standing abuses in production, labeling, and advertising, the 1938 Act was, in the words of David L. Cowen, "a milestone in federal interest in consumer protection." Despite its importance to the American public, however, its passage was effected only after a long, complex battle between conflicting interest groups.

    This volume is a study in depth of that five-year struggle, fully documented by records, correspondence, and publications, as well as a social history of the period. The author analyzes the inadequacy of the 1906 law, the roles of Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Wallace, and Rexford Tugwell, the American Medical Association, drug associations, and consumers' and women's groups.

    Originally published in 1970.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6960-2
    Subjects: Technology, Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-x)
    Charles O. Jackson
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-2)
  4. I THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
    (pp. 3-23)

    WALTER CAMPBELL, Chief of the Food and Drug Administration, was irritated. It was a winter day in 1933, and he was on his way across the street to see the new Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, Rexford Tugwell. Tugwell had returned to the FDA office a routine letter, prepared there for his signature, on tolerance levels of fruit spray residue. Attached was a curt penciled comment to the effect that if lead arsenate was a poison why didn’t FDA prohibit its use altogether. Campbell’s assistant Paul Dunbar was in the office when his chief read Tugwell’s notation. The terse comment, Dunbar...

  5. II “LYDIA PINKHAM AND OTHER WASHINGTONIANS”
    (pp. 24-48)

    WHY NOT write an entirely new law,” FDA’s Paul Dunbar suggested to his chief over lunch. They were discussing Campbell’s morning visit with Tugwell. The new Assistant Secretary had been sympathetic once the conversation got underway. In the end he had even been receptive to some revision of the old 1906 food and drug statute. More surprising, he had followed through. Before noon Tugwell phoned Campbell’s office to announce he had gained President Roosevelt’s approval for revision. Dunbar was excited. The present law was simply out of date and old-fashioned; amendments would just complicate matters. The thing to do, he...

  6. III THE TROUBLES I’VE SEEN
    (pp. 49-74)

    ON February 19, 1934, a harried Royal Copeland rose in the Senate of the United States to introduce S. 2800. This bill, he stated, was “a rewriting of the more or less famous—or infamous—food and drug bill.” “Mr. President,” he told his colleagues, “I desire to say for myself that I thought I had had all die troubles one could have in this life; but in all my experience I have never had so many worries and so much trouble as I have had in connection with this bill.”¹ The feeling was understandable. When he had scrutinized S....

  7. IV “I LIKE TO THINK ABOUT THE STAR CANOPUS”
    (pp. 75-101)

    IN January 1935, whatPrinters’ Inkcalled the “annual food, drugs and cosmetic regatta” got underway once more.¹ By the first days of April the food-drug bill was in serious trouble. Royal Copeland was angry and exasperated. On the Senate floor he denounced the “slimy serpents” of the proprietary medicine trade now “wiggling around this capitol.”² In disgust he threatened to give up his sponsorship of the pending measure.³ In the evening sky beyond Sirius and 540 light years from earth was the star Canopus. Unfortunately, it was not visible in Washington. Canopus might have been very consoling to Copeland,...

  8. V “TUGWELL AND TENNESSEE BEAT US”
    (pp. 102-125)

    THE intrigues of food and drug legislation had become old hat to Royal Copeland by 1935. He was experienced and battle-worn. For Virgil Chapman, Representative from Kentucky, the summer of 1935 was a shocking revelation. Copeland and Walter Campbell had hoped to have S. 5 proceed through the House without further public hearings. They had even obtained the backing of the Proprietary Association’s James Hoge for this move. Unfortunately, Representative Sam Rayburn, Chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, felt otherwise. There must be new hearings.¹ Thus Virgil Chapman entered the field of the food and drug...

  9. VI “MUCH POWER TO YOUR ELBOW”
    (pp. 126-150)

    “WE ARE attempting to prepare exhibits of some … preparations for which extravagant therapeutic claims are made in collateral advertising,” FDA’s J. J. Durrett wrote the chief of the drug unit’s Central District in the fall of 1936.¹ The letter was one of many which passed from the Washington office to field stations over the country. Field offices were asked to forward printed materials on twenty-eight categories of food, drug, and cosmetics but, as Durrett put it, “we are particularly anxious to obtain newspaper or periodical advertising that is being used in furthering their sales.” Area stations were to give...

  10. VII DOCTOR MASSENGILL’S ELIXIR
    (pp. 151-174)

    THE summer of 1937 must have been a depressing one for Royal Copeland. Four years had elapsed since the Senator introduced S. 1944, and it would appear that final passage of a drug bill was not even close. All Copeland could do was to sit and wait to see how the House would handle S. 5 number 2. The Senator could not know that the fall of 1937 would be decisive in the question of passing a new law.Drug and Cosmetic Industrycould not foresee this either, and, in retrospect, there was much that was ironic about its May...

  11. VIII CODA: RALLY ROUND THE APPLE
    (pp. 175-200)

    WHEN Royal Copeland introduced Senate bill 2000 in January 1934, Vice President John Nance Garner had a piece of advice for him. Garner told the New Yorker that such controversial legislation should be drawn and passed by both Houses, then really be written in the conference committee.¹ Perhaps this was not the way Copeland would have liked things to go, but Garner proved a good prophet. In the spring of 1937 Chairman Clarence Lea of the House Commerce Committee had announced that his group intended to draft their own version of S. 5. The Senate bill was still locked up...

  12. IX ANATOMY OF REFORM
    (pp. 201-221)

    THE New Deal as a complex of legislative and executive actions dealing with major domestic problems in America lasted only five years. Its force was gone by the end of 1938. Traditionally those years have been divided into two periods, the First and Second New Deals, each with its respective characteristics. If this division be accurate, then the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is a curiosity. This statute and the Fair Labor Standards Act represent the last major domestic measures passed before foreign affairs began to absorb the chief energy of the Administration. In time and in the nature...

  13. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY
    (pp. 222-232)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 233-249)