A little history:
Are you concerned about food additives? If you think food additives are an issue now, please read the following and “entertaining” article about how bad it was at the turn of the 20th century. The idea was the work of Harvey Washington Wiley, MD who later became known as the “father of the FDA. It all began as pure food and drugs laws evolved as the Pure Food & Drug Act of 1906 (aka as the Wiley Act) and then was succeeded by the 1938 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1938.
Wiley was a corporal in the Union Army Civil War but ultimately became a professor of chemistry at Purdue University and later Director of Chemistry at the USDA. During this time, he set up a feeding study of the safety of food additives, in particular borax. He recruited 12 healthy young men who were employees of the USDA and fed them meals with borax, salicylic acid, sulfuric acid, sodium benzoate and formaldehyde. The group became nationally known as the “Poison Squad.” It was ended when some volunteers became very ill with digestive symptoms so severe that they could no longer function. However, no one died. (Amazing, in my opinion)
Much later, Wiley ironically became the director of the Bureau of Foods, Sanitation and Health at Good Housekeeping womens’ magazine, famous for the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Check out his attitude about women in the following article.
He died in 1930 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.