The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 958 , Segment 6
Episode: George H.W. Bush, Gratitude & Charity, Lucid Dreaming, Spanish Archaeology
- Dec 5, 2018 10:00 pm
- 23:44 mins
Guest: Deborah Blum, Director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT and Author of “The Poison Squad” In the 1880s if you walked into a grocery store and bought milk, bread and butter, it was “buyer beware.” The milk was likely diluted, quite possibly with dirty water, and then thickened with chalk. The bread might have sawdust in it and the butter might be preserved with borax, which is a poison, of course. It wasn’t until 1906 that the US finally got the Pure Food and Drug Act, which led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, and the expectation that our food should be safe to eat. The battle to get to there was both grisly and exhausting.