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five prominent scientists, not otherwise connected with the Government service, was appointed and served for a number of years. In general such Rules and Regulations governing the use of preservatives as have been formulated by the three Secretaries have been based on the findings of the Bureau of Chemistry or of the Referee Board or have been made tentatively pending investigation. The regulations at present (1924) in force are given in the Appendix. As might be anticipated, when the different (noncondimental) preservative substances are treated each on its own merits, the regulations deemed necessary are not the same in all cases. Regarding the four substances just mentioned the present Federal regulations are essentially as follows: Saltpeter may be used without restriction; sodium benzoate may be used with no restriction except that the presence and true amount must be stated on the label; salicylic acid is forbidden ; sulphur dioxide may be used only in those foods in which its use was already common and only in limited amounts.
Guaranty. In order to secure justice in the fixing of responsibility, the law provides that the manufacturer or wholesaler may assume liability for his products so that he and not the retail dealer shall be held responsible in case of adulteration or misbranding. Formerly this was done by filing with the Government a general guaranty which was recorded under a Serial Number. Each package then bore a label showing the serial number and name and address of the party responsible for the guaranty. This guaranty was simply to fix responsibility and to protect the retail dealer. It afforded no additional protection to the consumer and added nothing to the penalty in case the food was found to be adulterated or misbranded. This, however, was not always understood, many purchasers supposing that they derived some additional protection from such guaranty. Hence a revised regulation, effective May 1, 1916, abolished the issuing of serial numbers and forbade their use or the printing of the “guaranty legend” on the labels.
Under the present regulation the guaranty should be incorporated in or attached to the bill of sale, invoice, or bill of lading, and should not appear on the labels or packages.
Imported foods. The law provides for the inspection of imported foods while still in the hands of the customs officers or under bond. This greatly facilitates the prevention of importation of adulterated food, and it is believed that comparatively little adulterated food is now imported. Adulterated food bearing labels indicating a foreign origin may be found in the American market but is likely to have been prepared in this country.
State and Municipal Food Control Since the Federal authorities cannot inspect or control any food which is produced and consumed in the same state, it is evident that each of the forty-eight states must have adequate legislation and inspection if its citizens are to obtain the full benefit of the pure food movement. In order fully to realize the importance of state and municipal control, one must remember that some of the foods most readily subjected to fraudulent adulteration (e.g., milk) and some of those most subject to dangerous contamination (e.g., meats and shellfish) are largely handled by producers and dealers who do a local business and so do not come under the authority of the Federal Government. Slaughtering and meat packing is now a highly centralized industry and is regulated both by the Food and Drugs Act and by a special Meat Inspection Law (see Chapter VI and Appendix B), yet about half the meat consumed in the United States is slaughtered in local establishments which are never visited by the Federal inspectors because they do no interstate business.
The rural population and the residents of small towns, who together make up about one half the people of the United States, derive relatively little direct benefit from the Federal law. Indirectly they benefit in proportion as the Federal legislation and
inspection serves to stimulate and standardize that of the states. At the present time most of the states have on their statute books food laws which are modeled more or less directly after the Federal law and which are satisfactory in so far as sufficient funds are appropriated to make possible their enforcement.
State laws may be more stringent in some respects than those of the Federal Government. Thus several states limit the time that food may be held in cold storage; the Sanitary Code of New York State makes it unlawful for any person “affected with any communicable disease to handle food or food products in any manner whatever," and several other states have laws or regulations of similar import.
The responsibility of the enforcement of state food laws is lodged sometimes with health officers, sometimes with the commissioner of agriculture, sometimes with a food commissioner independent of either the Department of Agriculture or of Health. Not infrequently the office of “ dairy and food commissioner” has developed through the fact that legal regulation of the milk supply and dairy industry antedated general food legislation. Whatever the organization, it is important that the enforcement of the state food laws be in the hands of permanent officials, scientifically trained, gifted with good judgment and administrative capacity, and entirely independent of politics.
State legislation and inspection may be supplemented by municipal ordinances enforced by distinct corps of officers. In New York City, for example, the board of health has the power to enact a sanitary code which becomes law on publication without requiring the approval of any other body or official. This code contains general rules for food control; and additional rules and regulations to govern certain industries are also promulgated by the board and thus become part of, and have the legal force of, the code. The board of health has the power to control any food industry by requiring that it be carried on
only under permits granted by the board. So long as no charge is made for these permits the board may revoke them at any time without resorting to the courts. Violations of the sanitary code may be punished either by criminal prosecution or civil suit. The policy has been to bring criminal prosecution in all cases of actual adulteration.
Recent Developments in Food Control Official grades and standards, market news, and shippingpoint inspection. The standards established for the enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act are essentially official definitions with or without numerical limits of composition for guidance in determining adulteration. They can therefore define only that minimum of quality or food value which permits of the article being considered free from adulteration. In addition to such minimum standards there is much advantage in the grading and standardizing of foods according to degree of excellence. For some foods trade practices have done this to a greater or less extent, and in the case of milk a group of authorities from different parts of the country have voluntarily agreed upon standards for grades “A” and “B,” as will be described in Chapter III.
The Federal Government has also undertaken a comprehensive program of standardization of important farm products.
The United States Grain-Standards Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to investigate the handling and grading of grain, establish official standards, license grain inspectors, and otherwise administer its provisions. All shipments by grade in interstate or foreign commerce must either be inspected by a licensed inspector at the point of shipment, during transit, or at the point of delivery, or, if there are no inspection facilities available, may be marketed uninspected but subject to the right of either party to the transaction to refer any dispute as to the grade to the Secretary of Agriculture for his determina
tion. An appeal to the Secretary may also be taken as to the true grade of grain which has been inspected. The findings of the Secretary in cases of dispute and appeals are made prima facie evidence in court proceedings.
The certifying of an official grade on shipments subject to Federal supervision is restricted to inspectors holding Federal licenses. These licenses are to be issued to persons authorized to inspect and grade grain under state laws, or may be issued to any competent and disinterested person, and may be suspended or revoked for cause. A complete system of records and reports is required of inspectors, and penalties are provided for false grading, interference with officials, and other violations of the act.
The legislation is designed to facilitate the use of more uniform grades in handling grain, thus simplifying the relations between the producer, dealer, and consumer. Since the final decision as to the grade of a shipment rests with the Department, it is also expected that the grower may more readily obtain higher returns for a product of superior merit, thus supplying him with a financial incentive to improve its quality.
Similar grading of other products is also contemplated or in progress. In his report for the year ending 1922, the Secretary of Agriculture writes:
“The necessity for establishing grades and standards for farm products of all kinds becomes increasingly evident. Clearly defined and generally accepted grades not only prevent innumerable irritations, annoyances, and abuses but help the farmer to produce to better purpose and with fuller understanding of market needs. In the case of many farm products acceptable and fairly well understood grades already have been established, such, for example, as the grain and cotton grades. For some time studies have been in progress with the hope of perfecting market classes and grades for livestock and dressed meats. This work has been carried on in connection with the market-reporting service, the tentative grades being used as the basis for the market reports. Numerous conferences have been held with producers and members of the trade, and recommendations and suggestions