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1901: thirteen children in St. Louis died after receiving diphtheria antitoxin contaminated with tetanus spores. Spurred Congress into passing the Biologics Control Act.
1906: 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 the enactment of these laws.
ELIXIR OF SULFANILAMIDE, containing the poisonous solvent diethylene glycol, kills 107 persons, many of whom are children, dramatizing the need to establish drug safety before marketing and to enact the pending food and drug law.