Hundred-year-old Monsanto Saccharin Advertisement

Source: American Food Journal (February, 1916)
Source: American Food Journal (February, 1916)

Sometimes I’m in awe of (or perhaps a better wording is “shocked by”) some of the things I find in advertisements from a hundred years ago.  This 1916 advertisement for saccharin appeared in a trade magazine for food processors.

Saccharin was banned in 1911 by the Pure Food Referee Board in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to an article in National Food Magazine called “The Passing of Saccharin”:

It has a preservative power and is very cheap. But the Referee Board, which has been investigating Saccharin, has found it guilty of causing indigestion and otherwise injuring the system. Therefore, the government has issued a ruling entirely prohibiting its use after July 1.

National Food Magazine (June, 1911)

In 1912, the government reversed the decision and again allowed the use of saccharin, but it remained controversial – thus the advertisement in the trade magazine explaining why saccharin “won”.

21 thoughts on “Hundred-year-old Monsanto Saccharin Advertisement

  1. This ad is unbelievable, Sheryl. I had no idea Monsanto has been around this long trying to poison us for profit. Thank you so much for finding this and sharing it. I plan to share it on Facebook.

  2. What’s equally intriguing is the note that sugar consumption already was considered a problem. Or, at least the manufacturers of artificial sweeteners were saying so. Of course, they had a vested interest. I’ve been reading about new research that suggests aspartame might be effective against fireants. Isn’t that a kick? On the other hand, another scientific article suggested not strewing aspartame around your house, since other sweet-loving insects will gorge on it, and die of malnutrition. There’s food for thought!

  3. We all seem to be agreed in finding Monsanto to be the spawn of the devil. On a lighter note, have I told you about the English Victorian advert for tobacco, suggesting its use is beneficial to asthma sufferers?

  4. Oh yes. Tobacco, with the help of Freud’s nephew, Phillip Bernays, managed even to get doctors to testify to the advantages of smoking. My best friend Hallie’s mother smoked because she was convinced that it was good for her asthma — or at least the argument served to support her habit. My friend Hallie learned by example and died at 70 of asthma and emphysema.

    And still Monsanto.

    And how fascinating that you found and shared this ad. Thanks!

  5. This is awful. Just think if the court hadn’t reversed its decision and stuck to its guns. Monsanto and saccharin – amazing to learn how long they were around.

  6. Who of thought that stuff has been around this long! Grandma used to use it in her coffee. I always hated it for I thought it left a funky taste in your mouth . Enjoyed reading about it though.

  7. And now with technology we find out they were right all along and that it is dangerous to our health. Natural foods are better – even sugar in moderation. Whenever man tries to better what God created it backfires into an unhealthy life style and pollution just to name two. We should leave things the way they were created then we would all be better off. Over 100 yrs and profit over better health is still around.

  8. I thought saccharin was newer than that! I never cared for it, though, and preferred sugar. Of course sugar isn’t good for us either, but at least it’s natural.
    And I know what you mean about being shocked by old ads. Have you seen the Coca-Cola adds that praise the drink’s medicinal qualities?

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