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FOOD INSPECTION DECISIONS 135 AND 142
At the request of the Secretary of Agriculture, the Referee Board of Consulting Scientific Experts has conducted an investigation as to the effect on health of the use of saccharin. The investigation has been concluded, and the Referee Board reports that the continued use of saccharin for a long time in quantities over three tenths of a gram per day is liable to impair digestion; and that the addition of saccharin as a substitute for cane sugar or other forms of sugar reduces the food value of the sweetened product and hence lowers its quality.
Saccharin has been used as a substitute for sugar in over thirty classes of foods in which sugar is commonly recognized as a normal and valuable ingredient. If the use of saccharin be continued, it is evident that amounts of saccharin may readily be consumed which will, through continual use, produce digestive disturbances. In every food in which saccharin is used, some other sweetening agent known to be harmless to health can be substituted, and there is not even a pretense that saccharin is a necessity in the manufacture of food products. Under the food and drugs act articles of food are adulterated if they contain added poisonous or other added deleterious ingredients which may render them injurious to health. Articles of food are also adulterated within the meaning of the act, if substances have been mixed and packed with the foods so as to reduce or lower or injuriously affect their quality or strength. The findings of the Referee Board show that saccharin in food is such an added poisonous or other added deleterious ingredient as is contemplated by the act, and also that the substitution of saccharin for sugar in foods reduces and lowers their quality.
The Secretary of Agriculture, therefore, will regard as adulterated under the food and drugs act foods containing saccharin.
After full consideration of the representations made in behalf of the manufacturers of saccharin at the hearing before us and of the briefs filed by their attorneys, as well as the briefs filed, at our request, by officers of the Department of Agriculture, we conclude that the use of saccharin in normal foods, within the jurisdiction of the food and drugs act, is a violation of law and will be prosecuted.
It is true that the Referee Board did not find that the use in foods of saccharin in small quantities (up to 0.3 gram daily) is injurious to health. However, the Referee Board did find that saccharin used in quantities over 0.3 gram per day for a considerable period is liable to disturb digestion, and the food and drugs act provides that articles of food are adulterated which contain any added poisonous or other added deleterious ingredient which may render them injurious to health.
The Bureau of Chemistry of the Department of Agriculture reports that saccharin has been found in more than fifty kinds of foods in common use. It is argued, therefore, that if the use of saccharin in foods be allowed, the consumer may very easily ingest, day by day, over 0.3 gram, the quantity which, according to the findings of the Referee Board, is liable to produce disturbances of digestion. On the other hand, it is claimed by the manufacturers that the sweetening power of saccharin is so great that, in a normal dietary, the amount of saccharin ingested daily would not exceed 0.3 gram, the amount found to be harmless by the Referee Board.
However this may be, it is plain, from the finding of the Referee Board, that the substitution of saccharin for sugar lowers the quality of the food. The only use of saccharin in foods is as a sweetener, and when it is so used, it inevitably displaces the sugar of an equivalent sweetening power. Sugar has a food value and saccharin has none. It appears, therefore, that normal foods sweetened with saccharin are adulterated under the law.
In making this decision we are not unmindful of the fact that persons suffering from certain diseases may be directed by their physicians to abstain from the use of sugar. In cases of this kind, saccharin is often prescribed as a substitute sweetening agent. This decision will not in any manner interfere with such a use of saccharin. The food and drugs act provides that any substance which is intended to be used for the prevention, cure, or mitigation of disease is a drug, and a product containing saccharin and plainly labeled to show that the mixture is intended for the use of those persons who, on account of disease, must abstain from the use of sugar, falls within the class of drugs and is not affected by this decision.
FEDERAL MEAT INSPECTION
THE MEAT-INSPECTION LAW
[Extract from an act of Congress entitled " An act making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and seven," approved June 30, 1906 (34 Stat., 674).]
That for the purpose of preventing the use in interstate or foreign commerce, as hereinafter provided, of meat and meat food products which are unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome, or otherwise unfit for human food, the Secretary of Agriculture, at his discretion, may cause to be made, by inspectors appointed for that purpose, an examination and inspection of all cattle, sheep, swine, and goats before they shall be allowed to enter into any slaughtering, packing, meat-canning, rendering, or similar establishment, in which they are to be slaughtered and the meat and meat food products thereof are to be used in interstate or foreign commerce; and all cattle, swine, sheep, and goats found on such inspection to show symptoms of disease shall be set apart and slaughtered separately from all other cattle, sheep, swine, or goats, and when so slaughtered the carcasses of said cattle, sheep, swine, or goats shall be subject to a careful examination and inspection, all as provided by the rules and regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture as herein provided for.
That for the purposes hereinbefore set forth the Secretary of Agriculture shall cause to be made by inspectors appointed for that purpose, as hereinafter provided, a post-mortem examination and inspection of the carcasses and parts thereof of all cattle, sheep, swine, and goats to be prepared for human consumption at any slaughtering, meat-canning, salting, packing rendering, or similar establishment in any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia for transportation or sale as articles of interstate or foreign commerce; and the carcasses and parts thereof of all such animals found to be sound, healthful, wholesome, and fit for human food shall be marked, stamped, tagged, or labeled as " Inspected and Passed;" and said inspectors shall label, mark, stamp, or tag as " Inspected and Condemned," all carcasses and parts thereof of animals found to be unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome, or otherwise unfit for human food; and all carcasses and parts thereof thus inspected and condemned shall be destroyed for food purposes by the said establishment in the presence of an inspector, and the Secretary of Agriculture may remove inspectors from any such establishment which fails to so destroy any such condemned carcass or part thereof, and said inspectors, after said first inspection shall, when they deem it necessary, reinspect said carcasses or parts thereof to determine whether since the first inspection the same have become unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome, or in any way unfit for human food, and if any carcass or any part thereof shall, upon examination and inspection subsequent to the first examination and inspection, be found to be unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome, or otherwise unfit for human food, it shall be destroyed for food purposes by the said establishment in the presence of an inspector, and the Secretary of Agriculture may remove inspectors from any establishment which fails to so destroy any such condemned carcass or part thereof.
The foregoing provisions shall apply to all carcasses or parts of carcasses of cattle, sheep, swine, and goats, or the meat or meat products thereof which may be brought into any slaughtering, meat-canning, salting, packing, rendering, or similar establishment, and such examination and inspection shall be had before the said carcasses or parts thereof shall be allowed to enter into any department wherein the same are to be treated and prepared for meat food products; and the foregoing provisions shall also apply to all such products which, after having been issued from any slaughtering, meat-canning, salting, packing, rendering, or similar establishment, shall be returned to the same or to any similar establishment where such inspection is maintained.
That for the purposes hereinbefore set forth the Secretary of Agriculture shall cause to be made by inspectors appointed for that purpose an examination and inspection of all meat food products prepared for interstate or foreign commerce in any slaughtering, meat-canning, salting, packing, rendering, or similar establishment, and for the purposes of any examination and inspection said inspectors shall have access at all times, by day or night, whether the establishment be operated or not, to every part of said establishment; and said inspectors shall mark, stamp, tag, or label as "Inspected and Passed" all such products found to be sound, healthful, and wholesome, and which contain no dyes, chemicals, preservatives, or ingredients which render such meat or meat food products unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome, or