7 Food Drug Cosm. L.J. 5 (1952)
A History of the Adulteration of Food before 1906

handle is hein.journals/foodlj7 and id is 31 raw text is: Vol. 7, No. 1                                    January, 1952
food'Drug' Cosmetic law
A HISTORY OF THE
Adulteration of Food Before 1906
By F. LESLIE HART
The Author Discusses the History of Adulteration
During Four Main Periods - Ancient Times, the
Medieval Period, the Period of Development of
Commerce and the Legislative Period up to 1906
And chalk, and alum and plaster are sold to the poor for bread.-
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Maud (1854).
T HE ADULTERATION of foods is as old as commerce itself. In
early times foods were few and simple. Trade existed for the most
part through barter. Markets offering fully prepared foods had not
yet come into existence. Rather, such markets as did exist offered raw
and crude foodstuffs. Grains and spices were not ground; vegetables
and fruits were fresh or dried. Only such foods as honey, ales and
wines, and oils offered much chance for sophistication. Of course,
crude cheating did occur. The ancient caravans crossing the Gobi
Desert with bales of tea or musk sometimes added considerable weight
to this valuable merchandise by inserting rocks, and even chunks of
lead into the bales. As commerce developed and knowledge spread,
adulteration grew more subtle. Spices were ground, flour was milled or
baked into bread, milk and cheese became articles of commerce. Each
offered more opportunity for hidden sophistication. A demand for laws
to control this practice then arose.
For the purpose of this article, the word adulteration will have
a restricted meaning. It will thus differ from the definition given in
the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act I in that natural happenings
to foods, such as insect infestation, or rot, and accidental contamina-
SRA FDC 1. Sec. 402.

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