The Role of Muckrakers in the Growth and Development of America

Senior (College 4th year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・MLA

The Influence of Muckrakers on the American Meat Industry

The US has a large meat industry that contributes highly to economic growth. Many Americans feed on meat products, making the industry have many investment opportunities. However, the industry needs regulation from the Federal and State governments. This regulation improves health and safety of both consumers and workers in the industry. The fiction, The Jungle (1906) by Upton Sinclair demonstrates some of the risks and brutality facing both workers and consumers in the meatpacking industry in Chicago. This novel shows that Muckrakers had a positive influence on the American growth and development. For instance, Upton Sinclair was among the muckrakers who exposed the poor conditions in meat industry I in Packing town, Chicago. In essence, the exposure by Upton Sinclair, a muckraker, led to the establishment of Federal Food Laws such as Meat Inspection Act that increased regulation of the American meat industry.

The Meat Inspection Act of 1907

From the Jungle (1906) fiction, the Federal and State government should put tight regulations on the meat industry. Currently, the country relies on the Meat Inspection Act of 1907 to control processing and selling of meat. This Act has four provisions. First, livestock should be inspected before slaughtering to determine if they are healthy or have infections. Second, each carcass should undergo post mortem inspection. Third, it is necessary for meat processing plants and slaughterhouses to establish sanitary standards. Fourth and last, all meat-processing plants should allow continuous inspection of all the processes to enhance health and safety of consumers. However, the regulations do not address all significant risks present in the slaughterhouses and processing plants. The government should make new legislations to improve the work conditions in the factories. From the Jungle (1906) fiction, many employees suffer from poor work conditions such as long working hours, low payments, and unhealthy environments. Therefore, the government should tighten its control on the workplace by having an inspection of the factories after six months. Another regulation should be in the supply chain, particularly from the processing plant to consumers. All distributors and retailers should adhere to the required health standards to ensure the safety of consumers.

The Positive Impact of Regulations

Regulations have proved that it is possible to introduce positive changes in the meat industry. One of the changes is improving work conditions. Many employees nowadays work at regular hours similar to workers in other sectors. Another impact is an improvement in the sanitation conditions of slaughterhouses and processing facilities. Due to regulations, most companies focus on providing hygienic conditions to prevent infection of the meat, which can harm consumers. Furthermore, regulations have reduced the risks exposed to employees, for example, metallic objects, thereby reducing injuries and even deaths. Finally, all regulations have protected consumers from unsafe meat products that can affect their health.

The Impact of Muckrakers on American Growth and Development

Information from the Chapter on Progressive Era shows that muckrakers had a positive impact on the growth and development of America. The objective of muckrakers was to expose the corruption in the government, poor utilization of resources and poor safety in most if the industries. An example of a muckraker was Upton Sinclair. Through his work, Upton managed to reveal the horrible working conditions in the meat industry in Canada. The Jungle (1906) enabled government agencies to understand the importance of regulating the meat industry and other sectors. Thus, it is correct to conclude that muckrakers led to the formulation of policies that controlled most industries and government agencies in the US, which increased accountability leading to high economic growth.

The Need for Tighter Regulations in the Meat Industry

The US government needs to tighten its regulation of the meat industry. Through the work of muckrakers such as Upton Sinclair, it was easy for the government to discover the poor working conditions and unsafe meat products sent to consumers. Therefore, muckrakers helped to develop policies that improved regulation in the industry. Such rules lead to improved working conditions and safety of meat products. Thus, laws are necessary to any food industry because they protect the health of consumers.

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