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American Experience: The Poison Squad

Photo: PBS

On Tuesday, January 28, PBS’s historical series, American Experience, aired an episode that focused on Dr. Harvey W. Wiley and his pioneering work with food safety and regulation. The episode was also primarily based off of this year’s Go Big Read book, The Poison Squad. Our 2019-2020 Go Big Read author, Deborah Blum was also to be seen in this episode as she provided valuable commentary and context throughout the covering of Wiley’s and the Poison Squad’s story.

The Poison Squad American Experience covered a significant portion of the information that Blum writes about in her book, starting with the horrendous conditions that a majority of the food was processed in, as well as the harmful additives that corporations would utilize in their products in order to increase their own profit margins. With pictures to go along with the horrors that Blum describes in her book, the consequences of the unregulated food industry of the era were brought to life by American Experience.

To watch clips or read articles about the episode and the issues that it discusses, check out the American Experience website.

Olivia Poches

Student Assistant, Go Big Read Office