The Poison Suad review ☆ 0

review The Poison Suad

The Poison Suad review ☆ 0 Ó ❰PDF / Epub❯ ★ The Poison Suad Author Deborah Blum – A New York Times Notable Book From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Deborah Blum the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes led by A New York Times NotabPut profit before the health of their customers By some estimates in New York City alone thousands of children were killed by embalmed milk every year Citizens activists journalists scientists and women's groups began agitating for change But even as protective measures were enacted in Europe American corporations blocked even modest regulations Then in Dr Harvey Washington Wiley a chemistry professor from Purdue University was named chief chemist of the agriculture department and the agency began methodically investigating food and drink fraud even conducting shocking human tests on groups of young men who came to be known as The Poison SuadOver the next thirty years a titanic struggle took place with the courageous and fascinating Dr Wiley campaigning indefatigably. Another superb book by Deborah Blum Like her previous book The Poisoner's Handbook Blum dives deep into our recent past to show how different we were in some ways just a century ago and yet how alike we are in many respectsThe Poisoner's Handbook told the story of the birth of forensic science along with the frighteningly common availability of murderous poisons in the early 1900s The Poison Suad tells the story of the birth of pure food and drug laws in the United States led largely by a single iron willed man Harvey Washington Wiley although he had a lot of help from crusading reformers muckraking journalists and state food inspectorsWiley came of age in the late 1800s when the desire of food manufacturers to provide cheap products in an age before refrigeration caused them to dose their food with preservatives that seem almost ludicrously dangerous today borax sodium benzoate and even formaldehyde For purely deceptive purposes they also produced ketchup with no tomatoes coffee with no coffee and whiskey with no whiskey At a time when American activists were seeking reform on many fronts women the right to vote temperance committees a ban on alcohol Teddy Roosevelt an attack on monopolies the pure food movement became another plank in this broad reformist effort and Wiley was its leading figureThe title of the book comes from an experiment that Wiley put together while running the Bureau of Chemistry in the Department of Agriculture which for ethical reasons might never occur today To test how safe various preservatives were he recruited volunteers mostly young single men working for the federal government and put them on a strictly regulated diet with some in the group getting regular food and others adding capsules of whatever preservative he was studying By doing this Wiley was able to show the dangers of substances like sodium benzoate and formaldehyde none of his young men died but some got very sick and refute the arguments of manufacturers that the preservatives were harmlessAfter years of campaigning both through his bureau's careful testing and through his charismatic speaking appearances Wiley finally managed to persuade Congress and President Roosevelt to pass a pure food and drug act But once the bill was signed into law in 1906 the manufacturers did everything in their power to dilute it and years of fighting and court battles remained aheadThroughout most of this period Wiley was saddled with a particular burden His boss Agriculture Secretary James Wilson served under four presidents and was so industry friendly that he blunted much of what Wiley was able to do prohibiting him from publishing scientific findings blocking him from speaking appearances and finally appointing a special committee that had the power to overrule many of Wiley's recommendationsDespite all those roadblocks Wiley became enormously popular both within his agency and with the broader public and when he finally decided to leave government service he was given a prominent position and much higher pay as a consultant and author for Good Housekeeping then a powerhouse magazine for America's educated womenThe magic Blum brings to these books is her ability to take government reports transcripts of testimony and court hearings and other dusty tomes and bring them to life infusing this critical change in our attitudes toward government regulation with humanity and drama And while we no longer face borax and formaldehyde in our food the elemental struggle between businesses trying to get away with whatever they can for profit vs the government preventing their worst excesses

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For food safety and consumer protection Together with a gallant cast including the muckraking reporter Upton Sinclair whose fiction revealed the horrific truth about the Chicago stockyards Fannie Farmer then the most famous cookbook author in the country and Henry J Heinz one of the few food producers who actively advocated for pure food Dr Wiley changed history When the landmark Food and Drug Act was finally passed it was known across the land as Dr Wiley's LawBlum brings to life this timeless and hugely satisfying David and Goliath tale with righteous verve and style driving home the moral imperative of confronting corporate greed and government corruption with a bracing clarity which speaks resoundingly to the enormous social and political challenges we face today. This author's previous book is one of the most popular I've encountered in that everyone I know who's read it loved it It was about the emergence of forensic medicine and solving poisoning cases against the backdrop of Prohibition era New York In this work she takes on a scientifically similar topic with a good deal less surrounding jazz and excitement Early in the twentieth century the food supply was far from the bucolic ideal we might imagine having existed before the emergence of junk food and factory farms In fact food purveyors regularly adulterated foods with all sorts of disgusting bulking materials or added toxic substances like arsenic to achieve bright colors Some foods were straight up fakes The book is full of hair raising examples For example milk producers wanted to stretch their production The standard recipe was a pint of lukewarm water to every uart of milk—after the cream had been skimmed off To improve the bluish look of the remaining liuid milk producers learned to add whitening agents such as plaster of paris or chalk Sometimes they added a dollop of molasses to give the liuid a golden creamy color To mimic the expected layer of cream on top they might also add a final suirt of something yellowish occasionally pureed calf brains loc 236 Cloves were made of burned seashells or pepper from charcoal and sawdust and there were few laws restricting any of these practices Children were poisoned by milk preserved with formaldehydeThe main figure here is Dr Harvey Wiley who tried to use his role at the Agriculture Department to research food safety and bring about legislation to protect Americans' health The fundamental problem with this book is that Wiley's career was long and slow moving full of bureaucratic maneuvers that don't exactly leap of the page like the juicy revenge poisonings in Blum's previous book In his personal life Wiley also romanced a librarian from the Library of Congress which reads like a painfully prolonged case of mild sexual harassment culminating in the lady taking stock of her independent economic prospects and marrying him Blum's writing research and story telling are still well done this is just a topic that's going to appeal to fewer and only patient readers

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The Poison SuadA New York Times Notable Book From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Deborah Blum the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes led by the inimitable Dr Harvey Washington Wiley who fought for changeBy the end of nineteenth century food was dangerous Lethal even Milk might contain formaldehyde most often used to embalm corpses Decaying meat was preserved with both salicylic acid a pharmaceutical chemical and borax a compound first identified as a cleaning product The Poison Kindle This was not by accident food manufacturers had rushed to embrace the rise of industrial chemistry and were knowingly selling harmful products Unchecked by government regulation basic safety or even labelling reuirements they. During his successful 2016 campaign for the White House Trump promised to have his cabinet submit a list of every wasteful and unnecessary regulation which kills jobs and which does not improve public safety and eliminate them His FDA commission Scott Gottlieb followed that promise by saying what while he recognizes the importance of food safety legislation he wants to strike the right balance in its implementation Consumer groups now anticipate delayed and reduced protections from agencies facing deep budget cuts The Earthjustice Institute has warned of the Trump administration's willingness to accommodate even unfounded and partial industry opposition to the detriment of the health and welfare of people and families across the country Such a warning with its mix of theatrical anger and genuine dismay could have been written almost word for word by Harvey Washington Wiley than a century ago The sense of deja vu echoing down the years should remind us of the ways that food safety practices have dramatically changed in this country and of the ways they have changed hardly at all The Poison Suad pg 289I found this book while browsing in my local library and picked it up because public health is always an interesting topic to me It took me a little while to get started on this book but once I did I could hardly put it down The Poison Suad follows Dr Harvey Washington Wiley in his career primarily as chief chemist for the Department of Agriculture explains how his research on altered and deliberately unlabeledmislabeled products came to shape his advocacy for safe and pure or at the very least properly labeled food and drink and illustrates for readers the parallels between the complaints and schemes of business of decades ago and the complaints and schemes of business today Just like the Earthjustice statement could have been written by Dr Wiley The Poison Suad is littered with uotations from 19th and 20th century businessmen their lawyers and the their lobbyists that could be written word for word by the industry at any cost interests of today I knew about a couple of the cases cited in the text the poisoning of children with milk that had been 'preserved' with formaldehyde the mass poisoning of mainly children by Elixir Sulfanilamide but not the vast majority Well written informative and very very relevant The Poison Suad was an amazing book and it is one that I would highly recommend However given that a good many of the descriptions are graphic I have one caveat I would try not to recommend The Poison Suad to someone who didn't have at least an ok tolerance for nauseating descriptions the likes of which are extremely likely to cause intense revulsion at the very idea of some things once being considered 'food' For example Doctors continued to worry over continued reports of grocer's itch a side effect of the deceptive practice of grinding up insects and passing the result off as brown sugar Sometimes live lice survived the process The Poison Suad pg 66 The secretary of agriculture Wilson also had endorsed a November decision to seize fifty two industrial sized cans of eggs preserved in a 2 percent solution of boracic acid The Hipolite Egg Company of St Louis sold these huge cans forty two pounds each to the baking industry at a price much lower than fresh eggs Hipolite specialized in salvaging dirty cracked and even rotting eggs for use in breads and cakes The company was particularly known for using spots decomposing eggs; mixing their contents into a thick homogeneous mass; using boracic acid a by product of borax the cleaning product also used for p