Why we owe food regulation to a 19th-Century chemist who poisoned his colleagues

Try to imagine twelve fine young men sat around a fine dinner table with a fine white tablecloth and fine silver settings, with their bow ties rested at their chins as they delicately brought forkfuls of more or less delicious foods to their mouths. Well, although each morsel laced with formaldehyde and benzoate, while borax tablets that polished off the meal. These heroes were the so-called “Poison Squad”: for five years, beginning in 1902, their nightly meals came from a government-run kitchen, where they ingested common (and previously untested) food…

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