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Dairy and Food Laws

OF WISCONSIN.

OF THE OFFICE AND DUTIES OF THE DAIRY AND FOOD

COMMISSIONER.

1. Appointment, term and compensation. [Sec. 1, ch. 452, laws of 1889.] The office of dairy and food commissioner for the state of Wisconsin, is hereby created. Such commissioner shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, and his term of office shall be for two years from the date of his appointment, and until his successor is appointed and qualified; provided, that the term of office of the commissioner first appointed under this act shall expire on the first Monday in February, 1891; and vacancies occurring in the office for any cause shall be filled by appointment for the balance of the unexpired term. The salary of the commissioner sha!! ] be twenty-five hundred dollars per annum and his necessary and actual expenses incurred in the discharge of his official duties.

2. Assistants, their qualifications and salaries. (Sec. 2, ch. 452, laws of 1889.] Such commissioner may, with the consent and advice of the governor, appoint two assistants, each of acknowledged standing, ability and integrity, one of whom shall be an expert in the matter of dairy products and the other of whom shall be a practical analytical

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chemist. The salaries of such assistants shall not exceed eighteen hundred dollars each per annum and their necessary and actual expenses incurred in the discharge of their official duties.

Ch. 355, of the laws of 1897, fixes the salary of the assistant commissioner at $1,600; of the chemist at $1,800, and of the commissioner's stenographer and confidential clerk at $900.

3. Agent to inspect dairies, etc. [Ch. 328, laws of 1897.] The dairy and food commissioner, with the approval of the governor, shall have authority to appoint an agent for the inspection of milk dairies, factories and creameries, and to assist in the work of the dairy and food commission at such times, and for such periods of time as may be required in the enforcement of the dairy and food laws of the state. The compensation of such agent shall be three dollars per day for each day of actual service, and his expenses, to be paid by the state.

4. Commissioner's duties. [Sec. 3, ch. 452, laws of 1869.] It shall be the duty of the commissioner to enforce all laws that now exist, or that may hereafter be enacted in this state, regarding the production, manufacture or sale of dairy products, or the adulteration of any article of food or drink or of any drug; and personally or by his assistants to inspect any article of milk, butter, cheese, lard, syrup, coffee or tea, or other article of food or drink or drug, made or offered for sale within this state which he may suspect or have reason to believe to be impure, unhealthful, adulterated or counterfeit, and to prosecute, or cause to be prosecuted, any person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations engaged in the manufacture or sale of any adulterated or counterfeit article or articles of food or drink or drug, contrary to the laws of this state.

5. His powers - Sealing samples - Refusing to sell for analysis. [Sec. 4, ch. 452, laws of 1889.] Said commissioner or any assistant shall have power in the performance of his official duties to enter into any creamery, factory, store, salesroom or other place or building where he has reason to believe that any food or drink or drug is made, prepared, sold or offered for sale, and to open any cask, tub, package or receptacle of any kind containing or supposed to contain, any such article, and to examine or cause to be examined and analyzed the contents thereof; and the commissioner or any of his assistants may seize or take any article of food or drink or drug for analysis, but if the person from whom such sample is taken shall request him to do so, he shall at the same time, and in the presence of the person from whom such property is taken, securely seal up two samples of the article seized or taken, the one of which shall be for examination or analysis under the direction of the commissioner, and the other of which shall be delivered to the person from whom the articles were taken. And any person who shall obstruct the commissioner or any of his assistants by refusing to allow him entrance to any place which he desires to enter in the discharge of his official duty, or refuses to deliver to him a sample of any article of food or drink or drug made, sold, offered or exposed for sale by such person, when the same is requested and when the value thereof is tendered, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not exceeding twenty-five dollars for the first offense and not exceeding five hundred dollars or less than fifty dollars for each subsequent offense.

Questions of evidence is to sealing and analysis. If there is contradictory evidence concerning the sufficiency of the seal of a sample, and the credibility of the witnesses for the prosecution is submitted to the jury, the defendant is not injured. If there is evidence that a few drops of carbolic acid was added to a sample of milk, and it is submitted to the jury as a question of fact whether this would change the character of the milk, make the analysis impossible or difficult, or in any way injuriously affect the sample for the purpose of analysis, the defendant has no cause of complaint. ' Commonwealth v. Spear, 143 Mass., 172.

It is observed of a similar statute that it is intended to secure a fair examination and analysis, by providing the defendant with the means of

making an analysis of a portion of the same specimen which the state has analyzed. If the sample is not saved, or not saved in proper condition, he has no means of showing that his evidence, if any he has as to the quality of the milk, applies to that with reference to which the government witnesses have testified. It cannot be said that a portion reserved is sealed, within the meaning of the statute, when wax is merely placed on the top of the cork, and not extended over the mouth of the bottle, thus making it airtight, if it is shown that the character of the milk will be affected by the air. Commonwealth v. Lockhardt, 144 Mass., 132.

Where the article analyzed bas not been taken under the statute the competency of evidence is to be determined by the common law, and the testimony of any person who had sufficient skill to analyze it, and who has analyzed some which was proven to have been sold by the defendant, is admissible. Commonwealth v. Holt, 146 Mass., 38.

6. District attorneys to assist - Disposition of fines. [Sec. 5, ch. 152, laws of 1889.] It shall be the duty of the district attorney in any county of the state, when called upon by the commissioner or any of his assistants, to rerder any legal assistance in his power to execute the laws, and to prosecute cases arising under the provisions of this act; and all fines and assessments collected in any prosecution begun or caused to be begun by said commissioner or his assistants shall be paid into the state treasury.

Counsel may be employed. See paragraph 24 which also provides that district attorneys shall assist the commissioner.

7. Analysis of articles — Assistance at institutes, etc. [Sec. 6. ch. 452, laws of 1889.] With the consent of the governor, the state board of health may submit to the commissioner, or to any of his assistants, samples of water or of food or drink or drugs, for examination or analysis, and receive special reports showing the result of such examination or analysis. And the governor may also authorize the commissioner or his assistants, when not otherwise employed in the duties of their offices, to render such assistance in the farmers' institutes, dairy and farmers' conventions, and the agricultural department of the university, as shall by the authorities be deemed advisable.

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