In 1883, Dr. Harvey Wiley joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as chief chemist. After two decades, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Pure Food and Drugs Act in 1906, largely written by Wiley.
Learn more about THE POISON SQUAD, including where to watch the documentary: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/poison-squad/
By the close of the Industrial Revolution, the American food supply was tainted with frauds, fakes, and legions of new and untested chemicals, dangerously threatening the health of consumers. Based on the book by Deborah Blum, The Poison Squad tells the story of government chemist Dr. Harvey Wiley who, determined to banish these dangerous substances from dinner tables, took on the powerful food manufacturers and their allies. Wiley embarked upon a series of bold and controversial trials on 12 human subjects who would become known as the “Poison Squad.” Following Wiley’s unusual experiments and tireless advocacy, the film charts the path of the forgotten man who laid the groundwork for U.S. consumer protection laws, and ultimately the creation of the FDA.