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Baking Powder WarsThe Cutthroat Food Fight that Revolutionized Cooking$
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Linda Civitello

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041082

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252041082.001.0001

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The Pure Food War

The Pure Food War

Outlaws in Missouri, 1899–1906

(p.96) Chapter 7 The Pure Food War
Baking Powder Wars

Linda Civitello

University of Illinois Press

In 1899, the Royal Baking Powder Trust bribed the Missouri state senate to pass a law that made alum baking powder poison. People were arrested for selling baking powder. Royal introduced this legislation across the U.S. but the American Baking Powder Association fought successfully. Through repeated bribery, the law stood until 1905, after Lincoln Steffens exposed it in a seminal article against lobbying called “Business as Treason.” Missouri indicted Royal’s William Ziegler but the governor of New York refused to extradite. Finally, charges were dropped or the “boodlers” were acquitted. At the same time, the U.S. Congress conducted hearings on the Pure Food law, passed in 1906.

Keywords:   alum, baking powder, Royal, bribe, Ziegler, Kelley, Steffens, boodle, treason

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