Reading Gabriel Kolko's vastly underrated, groundbreaking book "The Triumph of Conservatism" is one reason I no longer identify as a progressive or a leftist. Kolko shows without a doubt how the so-called Progressive movement of the e...arly 20th century was hijacked and co-opted by big business from the very start. Big business wanted the FDA and other regulatory agencies in place so they could use them to drive out smaller competitors. They also knew that they could control the regulators so that they could violate the regulations with impunity while using them to bludgeon their competition. This is the huge blind spot of liberals/progressives. Government is not the answer, because government will always be nothing more than a tool and plaything of the elites.
The "good guys" of this era were the Populists. The Progressives were in favor of the emerging corporate state. The Populists were prescient in recognizing the evils of corporatism and fought against it tooth and nail. It's a shame that they weren't successful.