Chemical Warfare on America

I received my bachelor of science degree in analytical chemistry from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. My first full-time employment after graduation was with Federal Food and Drug Administration. The duties consisted of analyzing food and drugs that was being sold in the United States. It also included in analyzing food products imported from foreign nations for any pest contamination. The food products from large food-producing manufacturers were also analyzed for pest contamination and content. The drugs were analyzed for amount specified on labels. There were numerous FDA laboratory districts established nationwide. The Detroit district employed about forty analytical chemists and about forty to fifty inspectors. Our district director emphasized on us the importance of our work. Two of the important items mentioned to our occasional gathering emphasized the importance of FDA work: One was the advent of sulfa drugs prior to antibiotics that were widely used, and they were highly not soluble. Someone at one of the manufacturing outfits figured out a way of dissolving the sulfa drugs in ethylene glycol (car cooling system liquid-highly poisonous). This elixir was used on a ten-year-old boy, who died due to the poison. The other item he mentioned was an inspector at a tuna-canning manufacturer observed how some decomposed sections of the fish were slowly incorporated into the final canned product. It is a shame that these highly guarded human health districts have been closed. This is why this book came about.

--George Orville

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