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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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Chemists and the 1906 Act

Chemists were at the heart of the beginning of comprehensive consumer protection in the U. S., starting with those in the earliest days of the Department of Agriculture. Harvey Wiley, Chief Chemist of the Bureau of Chemistry, continued and broadened that tradition, a leader who both exposed problems through his research program and brought together many groups behind a law through his force of personality. In addition to recognizing some of their contributions, this article also explores the early administration of the law that these chemists worked so hard to create.