The Meat Inspection Act of 1906

The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 was an attempt to regulate the meatpacking industry and to assure consumers that the meat they were eating was safe. In brief, this act made compulsory the careful inspection of meat before its consummation, established sanitary standards for slaughterhouses and processing plants, and required continuous U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection of meat processing and packaging. Yet, the most important objectives set by the law are the prevention of adulterated or misbranded livestock and products from being commercialized and sold as food, and the making sure that meat and all its products are processed and prepared in the adequate sanitary and hygienic conditions (Reeves 35). Imported meat and its various products are no exception to these conditions; they must be inspected under equivalent foreign standards.
The original Meat Inspection Act of 1906 gave full authority to the Secretary of Agriculture to inspect and condemn any meat product found out of condition, unhealthy, or unsuitable for human consumption. In contrast to previous laws ordering meat inspections, which were imposed in favor of the European nations to assure them from banning pork trade, this law powerfully considered the American diet and was strongly motivated by its protection. It becomes mandatory to set with accuracy all labels on any type of food, though not all ingredients were provided on the label (Nash 198).
The momentum generated by the passage of the Meat Inspection Act helped secure the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, which had been stalled in Congress since 1905. With these two pieces of legislation, the federal government took important steps to assure the public that the food they were eating met minimu...

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...ds” (Karolides 284). Sinclair gave specific examples of the atrocities in Packingtown. He also supplied statements from well-known citizens who supported his position.
President Roosevelt’s inspectors found that Sinclair’s statements were, if anything, less startling than the reality. karolides mentions that the report revealed that it happened to the inspectors “to discover nothing but filth, disease, intolerable stenches and a worse than bestial disregard of elementary decency.” The president prepared a message to Congress and, karolides continues to illustrate, “within an hour, both packers and packing house senators were tumbling over each other” to pass a law regarding government inspection at the packing houses if the president would withhold his message to Congress, which would confirm Sinclair’s story. This ended the attempts to discredit The Jungle (284).
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