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Emerging out of the era of the robber barons and Theodore Roosevelt’s desire to “civilize capitalism,” the Food and Drug Administration was created to stop the trade in adulterated meats and quack drugs. In the almost one hundred years since, it has evolved from a squad of eleven inspectors dogging dishonest tradesmen into America’s most important regulatory agency, keeping tabs on the products of about 95,000 businesses and more than $1 trillion worth of goods annually.
This book shows how the agency combats self-serving political and industrial interests and protects Americans from hazardous medicines, medical devices, and foodstuffs while enforcing rigorous scientific standards. Hilts takes us back to the FDA’s beginnings, when it confronted businesses that acknowledged no limitations on what could be brought to market or on the claims they could make for a product. With the coming of the FDA, our government, for the first time, was able to force the removal of toxic…[more]