Some important dates in the history of food and drug regulation in the United States:1785: Massachusetts enacted the first general food law in the United States.
1848: California passed a pure food and drink law, one year after the gold rush.
1879: Peter Collier, chief chemist with the USDA, began investigating food and drug adulteration. The following year he recommended a national food and drug law. In the next 25 years more than 100 food and drug bills were introduced in Congress.
1891: Congress passed an act requiring inspection of animals for diseases before slaughter.
1906: The original Food and Drugs Act was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt. The act prohibited interstate commerce in misbranded and adulterated foods, drinks and drugs. The Meat Inspection Act was passed at the same time. e Shocking disclosures of insanitary conditions in meat packing plants, the use of poisonous preservatives and dyes in foods, and cure-all claims for worthless and dangerous patent medicines were the major problems leading to enactment of these laws.
1913: Quanitiy information was required on food packages.
1927: A separate agency was formed, first knows as the Food, Drug and Insecticide Administration and then in 1931, the Food and Drug Administration (DA).
1933: A complete revision of the obsolete 1906 act was recommended by the FDA, and legistation introduced, launching a 5-year executive battle.
1937: Elixir of Sulfanilamide killed 107 people, dramatizing the need to establish drug safety before marketing.
1938: The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was enacted.
1939: The food food standards were issued, they applied to canned tomatoes, tomato puree and tomato paste.
1951: The Delaney Committee starts investigation of the safety of chemicals in foods and cosmetics.
1958: The Food Additive ammendments were enacted, prohibiting use of new food additives until safety was established and the FDA had issued regulations specifying conditions of use.
1962: Dr. Frances Ol Kelsey, FDA Medical Officer, invoked provisions of the Food and Drug act to keep thalidomide of the American market. The drug had been associated with the birth of thousands of malformed babies in western Europe.
1977: Saccharin Study and Labeling Act was passed by Congress to stop the FDA from banning the chemical, but instead requiring a label warning that it has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
1980: Infant Formula Act established special FDA controls to insure necessary nutritional content and safety of baby foods.
1982: Tamper Resistant Packaging Regulations were issued by the FDA to prevent problems arising from tampering with over-the-counter drugs.