CHAPTER I: THE FIGHT FOR THE FOOD AND DRUGS LAW
It would be impossible and perhaps unnecessary to survey the whole field of effort which led to the enactment of the Food and Drugs Law. It will be sufficient to take the last of the hearings as typical of all those that had gone before. If the Latin motto is true, "ex pede, Herculem," we can judge the whole of this opposition by its last expiring effort, just as we can recreate Hercules if we have a. part of his big toe.
The final hearings were before the committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1906. This was just before the time the bill was completed in the Senate and after an agreement had been made to vote on it the 21st of February. These hearings are printed in a volume containing 408 pages. Pages 1 to 40 are taken up with testimony that benzoate of soda is a perfectly harmless substance. These witnesses were made up of both manufacturers and experts. The experts were Dr. Edward Kremers, of the University of Wisconsin, Professor Frank S. Kedzie of the Agricultural College of Michigan, and Dr. Victor C. Vaughan, Dean of the College of Medicine of the University of Michigan. The manufacturers who testified in this case unanimously said that the business of keeping food could not be carried on without the use of some preservative and that eminent scientific men had declared that benzoate of soda, borax, etc., in the proportions used were entirely harmless. Ex-Senator William S. Mason was also before the committee in the interest of a bill prepared by Mr. Meyers, editor of the American Food Journal, ostensibly offered by food manufacturers. This was a publication devoted to the propaganda of rectified whisky.