Article abstract: This best-seller shocked Americans by accusing well known food, drug, and cosmetic companies of gross irresponsibility in producing and marketing their products.
Summary of Event
In 1933, Arthur Kallet and Frederick Schlink collaborated to publish 100,000,000 Guinea Pigs: Dangers in Everyday Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, a shocking book in which the authors alleged that many of the best-known U.S. consumer products of the day were either useless or actually dangerous. Products they warned against included such heavily advertised brands as Listerine, Pepsodent, Kellogg’s All-Bran, Crisco, Lifebuoy, Bromo-Seltzer, Mercurochrome, Absorbine Jr., and Ex-Lax, as well as a number of others that were household names but have since been forgotten. The public was astonished to learn that in the modern American marketplace, as in ancient Rome, it was still a matter of buyer beware.
Kallet and Schlink warned that Ex-Lax, probably the best-known laxative of the time, could produce laxative dependency and had killed a child who ate a whole box because the drug tasted like chocolate candy. In the case of Kellogg’s All-Bran, a cereal commonly believed to be effective in relieving constipation, the authors charged that harsh bran ingested in large quantities on a daily basis could cause serious damage to the intestines and even lead to death from cancer.
Kallet and Schlink knew they...
(The entire section is 2036 words.)
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