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and importuned with requests that he do his part in dexterously indicating to his readers that while this bill is "lofty in purpose it is utterly vicious in ts actual proposals and calculated to be destructive of industry. That many of these publishers have been threatened that enactment would mean serious curtailment of income from advertising is no secret.
ADVERTISING THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE NOSTRUM INDUSTRY
In this connection, Mr. W. G. Campbell, Chief of the United States Food and Drug Administration, points out that much of the opposition to this bill seems to be buoyed by the unflattering assumption that broadcasters and publishers can be blackmailed into support of the patent-medicine crowd by threatening them with loss of advertising." Arguing that "this is nonsense Mr. Campbell forcefully reminds the public that "these manufacturers cannot stop advertising, and they know it." Advertising is the lifeblood of their business. They will have to go on with it at the cost of being truthful."
One might, indeed, infer from the tone of some of this propaganda that the advertising industry is in peril of extinction. If it were so that advertising for its effectiveness must invoke the elements of falsity, deceit, and dissimulation, then it would deserve that fate. But, happily, it is not so. Actually, there is no sound reason why the consuming public should be told other than the truth about the products being offered it. The nostrums maker has no right to assume that he is privileged to hoodwink the suffering and the gullible, or that these are his legitimate prey. The notion that advertising must be delusive in order to create sales is an old one, finding embodiment in some degree in much of the offerings of national scope and which are tacitly sanctioned by even the higher class of periodical publishers and radio broadcasters.
SCARING THE PUBLIC
A powerful motive back of very much of this advertising is the creation of apprehension about one's health. There is much twaddle and meaningless claptrap about germs, vitamins, constipation, the perils of stale coffee, and means for the avoidance of cold-catching-stuff that is flagrantly deceptive and unwarranted on the basis of scientific fact. This the public readily swallows, as it is intended it shall.
ESSENTIALS OF DISHONEST ADVERTISING
It requires no great acumen to understand the test of what constitutes dishonest advertising. Where the language is such as to attribute to an article a quality or value that it does not possess, such that the public-generally ignorant of such matters-is led to purchase it under a misapprehension as to its merit or of what its use actually is likely to accomplish, this form of sales promotion is an imposition upon the reader or listener and deserves to be checked.
The interests here concerned are adept in the art of specious reasoning and it is significant that most of the objection advanced has involved an effort to make it appear that the Government's activity here would mainly be confined to the pursuit of trivialities, of divesting the language of advertisements of those expressions of "trade puffery" which are innocent enough for the reason that they fool no one-with the result that all advertising would be drab and colorless. Actually, the opponents well know that there is no such intent. They know perfectly well where the line will and should be drawn. There is a distinction between deception and mere fulsomeness of praise. It has been predicted that when or if this bill is favorably reported from committee it will not be without drastic revision. This does not augur well. It is to be hoped, however, that its friends (which should mean every consumer) will see to it that its essential provisions shall remain intact.
Mr. Chairman, in going over the bill there are some amendments which, if I may without taking your time, and as I say, I promise there is no dynamite, I will file.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
(The statement above referred to is as follows:)
Senate bill 2800 has not been referred to the advisory board of the league. They accepted membership on the basis of support of Senate bill 1944.
After consultation with members of the league available and out of my own experience and best judgment and in a way which I think represents the best thought of the advisory board, I recommend amendments to Senate bill 2800 as follows:
Paragraph D, section 3, add thereto the following:
"Provided, however, That such coal tar or other artificial color shall not be used in imitation of the genuine or natural red, yellow, green, or other color of a fruit and vegetable or a food which purports to be a food or vegetable product."
While, in my opinion, this prohibition exists in the other provisions of the act a plain statement will put food manufacturers on notice and will prevent unnecessary and expensive litigation at the cost of the taxpayers.
A few tablespoonfuls of red aniline can imitate the natural red of a whole acre of cherries or strawberries. It is unfair trade to the small fruit grower and to the orange grower. Such a provision in the law would do much to establish far-reaching prosperity to the growers of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apples. grapes, and particularly to the orange grower. Subparagraph 2 of paragraph B of section 4, add thereto the following: "Provided, however, That the Secretary of Agriculture may, when it is necessary to carry out the provisions of this and other sections of the act relating to drugs, adopt such regulations and standards as may be necessary therefor in accordance with the authority contained in section 22 of the act." Section 7, paragraph G, add thereto the following:
"Or if it be labeled or branded or in any manner represented or sold so as to deceive or mislead the purchaser or consumer as to the purity, quality, vitamin, or other nutritional value."
Such foods, being of vital importance not only to the growth but even the health and lives of children, should have this protection so that not only physicians but mothers will know the composition, character, and true nutritional value of such child foods.
Recently it is being shown, and I think correctly, that the growth and health of the children of the well-to-do is below that of the children of parents of less financial means. Children of the better class consume more of the advertised children's foods. There is nothing against these foods except that a food is represented to do more than it will do, and if a mother follows this the child is not properly fed.
Strike out subsections 1 and 2 of section 11 and substitute therefor after the word "food", the following:
Definitions and standards of identity, quality, purity, and strength and standard methods of chemical, bacteriological analyses or tests for the purpose of determining these standards of identity, quality, purity, and strength.
The word "minimum" has no place in a food control law. The honest and wise food manufacturer does not want it because it will hurt confidence. The advertising departments and advertising agencies should not want it because of the constant publicity from those who write books, magazine, and other articles that the Government standard is a minimum standard and therefore meaningless.
A minimum standard for the quality of milk means in New York State, for example, that grade C which is unsafe for infant feeding and the use of which might reestablish the high mortality once had and known to be due to unsafe milk.
The operation of the "committee on public health" provided for in paragraph B of section 22 should not be excluded, as it is by inference in paragraph C, from the consideration of matters relating to foods.
The "committee on food standards" provided for in paragraph C of section 22 is not the kind of a committee which anyone experienced in food control would like to see.
First of all, there may be four members who have had no experience in the matter of standard methods for chemical, bacteriological, and biological testing. Further, a maple sirup or honey man may not want to see a corn sirup man on the committee, and vice versa; a butter man may not like to see an
oleomargarine man; a canner may not feel that a sugar man has enough experience to deal with canned goods.
In lieu of this the following amendment is proposed:
The Secretary of Agriculture is empowered to appoint such committees from the dairy, fruit, and vegetable, meat-packing, oyster-growing and the alcohol and nonalcohol beverage industries, and committees from official agriculture chemists and other chemists, bacteriologists, biological, and pharmaceutical chemists, physicians, and other of the food industries and provisions as he may deem necessary to add in establishing the fair and full facts in the establishment of food standards and regulations for the purpose of carrying this section into effect.
Paragraph D of section 22 will not have the support of the consuming public. It sets up a committee above the Secretary of Agriculture and even above the President, with no appeal anywhere-not even the Supreme Court-in matters which may affect the public interest and which may particularly affect the State and municipal enforcement of the food and drug control laws. Paragraph E of section 22 is inconsistent with paragraph C. It is impossible to have two from the "food producing, processing, and manufacturing industry" or two members of the committee from the "food and drug administration" and comply with paragraph E which prohibits such connection.
Senate bill 2800 omits the voluntary permit section provided for in Senate bill 1944. Such a section would introduce prevention and put food control on a constructive basis, will establish confidence in the sale of foods and particularly give larger confidence to American foods in foreign markets.
The objections to it are:
(a) Mr. George C. Parlin, representing the Curtis group and 120 other magazines, feels that it will hurt advertising.
On the contrary, the advertising of meat food products has been largely developed since the Federal Meat Inspection Act which places the plants under a permit system and affixes the designation "Inspected and passed" on the meat.
This is well shown in the January 13, 1934, issue of the Saturday Evening Post, where there is a full-page advertisement from one of the nationally known packers, and in the February 24, 1934, issue of the same publication, where the Saturday Evening Post publishes a statement from that packing firm in which the firm says:
"We are sure that our advertising in the Post year after year has been a great influence in making the Nation appreciative of 's products."
Compliance with honest and full standards for quality, purity, and strength and the securing of a voluntary permit will give a compelling urge to advertise. (b) It is pointed out that the small manufacturer will be at disadvantage. On the other hand, the small manufacturer and the farm, fruit, vegetab'e, and dairy producer can have such permits under a grouping system whereby a number of firms will participate in the cost of inspection. This will bring a distinct advantage to the smaller manufacturers.
(c) It is objected that the plan may cause a misuse of the Department of Agriculture in advertising.
This can be cured by strict penalties.
I recommend that the voluntary permit section, section 22 of Senate bill 1944, be brought back into the act as paragraph I or as a new section before section 23, and that there be added thereto the following:
"The Secretary of Agriculture shall by regulation prescribe—
"(a) For the acceptance of inspection done under permits issued by any State or municipal food-control authority where the manufacture and product, its labeling and advertising, complies with provisions as laid down in this act; "(b) For group inspection for smaller manufacturers or for agricultural producers.
"Any person, firm, or corporation which represents that it has a permit and the mark from the Department of Agriculture when it has not, or which uses such after the permit may have been withdrawn, or who counterfeits the mark or stamp of the Department of Agriculture showing that a corporation, firm, or individual and its product has a permit and has been inspected and passed under such designation as the Secretary of Agriculture may by regulation establish, shall upon conviction be fined not less than $1,000 and, in the case of an individual or an officer or agent of a firm or corporation who knowingly
violates this provision, shall on conviction be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not less than 2 years, or both such imprisonment and fine."
Mr. ALLEN. I would rather earnestly urge that you recommend to strike out the "minimum".
The CHAIRMAN. Preceding the word "standard"?
Mr. ALLEN. Yes. I know the good faith and misunderstanding with which that has been put in, but in the trial of, you might say, some 7 or 8 thousand pure-food cases and the trial of several Federal cases under the law, we always had to prove, before we had a standard, what is a fair standard. All we could ever prove was a minimum standard, and the minimum standard was not the standard that would protect the lives of children. Then we provided for legal standards.
Down at Louisville, Ky., is one of the records that I am rather proud of. Back in 1906 there were 967 little white coffins going into the cemetery. In 1910 there were only 437 of those little white coffins. There isn't anything else in my life or in my record that I am more deeply proud of than that.
Now, let us take milk. New York City has grade A and grade B, which is safe, but the minimum standard is grade C. Grade C will kill babies. Now, nobody had that in thought, but that is the application of the minimum. There ought to be some better word. Let us say "fair standard" or "average" standard. I don't think Mr. Parlin or the rest of them could object to that, but in the enforcement of the law, do not put the officials up against the proposition every time they go out to protect the public, that the standard depended on is not the minimum standard.
I notice that almost everyone is receding from this matter of permits, that it isn't a matter than can be fully considered at this time.
Now, if it is not a matter than can be fully considered at this time, it cannot be considered at another time. I am from the South, and I come from the agricultural sections. I can see the rather large benefit that that would be to our growers. They could all pitch in and get an inspector and their products would come to the Eastern market, with the stamp of approval of the Department of Agriculture. It would put a constructive food law enforcement right down before the crop of apples got into New York to be seized. It would put it down at the packing plants that do not have Federal inspection. It could be amended so the Secretary of Agriculture could be authorized to group them together and let a group of agricultural producers or a group of small manufacturers have the trade benefit. As far as using the Department of Agriculture for bad advertising, there could be very strict penalties on that. It could be worked out so as to settle the inspection, say, on the Mississippi State Board of Health, or the Memphis Board of Health, or Little Rock.
I think that, Mr. Chairman, is all I have to offer. The American Pure Food League is not connected with any advertising, it is noncommercial, it is brought together, as you will see from the list of many of those who have been at work over the years for the pro
tection of public health, and pure-food laws, and other laws of that kind.
Dr. Fisher, of Yale, is honorary chairman, and the president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs is honorary vice president. It has a list of some 85 people, and even at that I am rather conservative this morning in keping myself to what I think the membership would view with respect to Senate bill 2800. They allowed their names to be in support of Senate bill 1944. Senate bill 2800 has not been presented to them. I have presented some of the amendments, but I think the league would like to have you consider these things. You gentlemen have a very, very hard job, and everybody here. should get to work on it, to get a good law out of it, and stop the rather acrimonious discussion back and forth.
Public health is honest business, and those 437 little white coffins against the 967 are matters which all of these gentlemen ought to get together on, to get not only what we have gotten in the label, but will get the truth in advertising and these other matters.
I thank you.
(The invitation and officers and advisers of the American Pure Food League are as follows:)
AMERICAN PURE FOOD LEAGUE,
We are reviving the American Pure Food League which functioned in 1905–8, during the passage and in support of the enforcement of the Federal Food and Drugs Act. Mr. Campbell and his associates in charge of the national law, have drafted a new act making its provision stricter as to adulteration and misbranding and applying to all representation about purity, quality, food, and medicinal value, wherever made, including advertising and broadcasting. The seller and his agent, and not the newspaper, magazine, or broadcasting people are to be held responsible.
Every test of American public sentiment shows that this measure, Senate bill 1944, will have strong and united support from all classes, including most of those in the food and drug trades. But it has a subtle and under-the-cover opposition from those interests whose profits continue to depend upon the telling of half truths or the untruth about food or medicine.
I am writing on behalf of leaders connected with the passage of the present Federal Food and Drugs Act to ask that you serve on the advisory board of the league.
You will be informed and consulted about everything done. In no case will your name be used without knowing about it and with your assent.
This stated, the job needs the direction and backing of a group to stand for and, if need be, fight for the passage of Senate bill 1944 with such amendments as the committees of Congress and the Federal Food and Drugs Administration may make.
Very truly yours,
ALICE LAKEY, Executive Secretary.
OFFICERS OF AMERICAN PURE FOOD LEAGUE
Alice Lakey, executive secretary, Cranford, N.J.
Prof. Irving Fisher, LL.D., honorary president, New Haven, Conn. Mrs. Harvey W. Wiley, president, 2345 Ashmead Place, Washington, D.C. Vice presidents: Mrs. Wm. H. Purdy, advisor, public welfare department, General Federation Women's Clubs, Mt. Vernon, N.Y.; Mrs. F. C. Dugan, chief Bureau Foods, Drugs, and Hotels, State Board of Health, Louisville, Ky. William J. McKee, treasurer, Cranford Trust Co., Cranford, N.J.
Mrs. Grace Morrison Poole, honorary vice president, president General Federation of Women's Clubs, Washington, D.C.