« ForrigeFortsett »
health are being practiced, and that unwholesome and adulterated food products are being shipped in interstate commerce.
Fifth. Section 17 (e) of the bill relates to food law guaranties, and provides that no dealer shall be prosecuted, in so far as penalties are concerned, if he can establish a guaranty from the person from whom he received the article to the effect that such person assumes full responsibility for any violation of the statute.
We respectfully urge that the provisions of section 9 of the existing Federal Food and Drugs Act be retained, to the effect that no dealer shall be prosecuted under the provisions of the act when he can establish a guaranty from. the seller to the effect that the product is not adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of the act.
Sixth. Section 25 of the bill provides : “ This Act shall take effect six months. after the date of approval."
Food manufacturers and distributors purchase many of their products long in advance of distribution and sale. Labels, cartons, and other containers also are necessarily prepared and purchased far ahead of actual use. At the present time millions of dollars are invested in the merchandise, labels, and containers which are in the warehouses and on the shelves of distributors and marchants. Six months' time is wholly inadequate within which to dispose of food products, labels, and packages on hand.
When the weight or measure branding amendment of the existing statute was enacted it specifically allowed 18 months within which to dispose of merchandise on hand.
We respectfully urge, therefore, that section 25 of the pending bill be amended so as to allow at least 18 months within which to dispose of products on hand. Respectfully submitted.
NATIONAL-AMERICAN WHOLESALE GROCERS' ASSOCIATION,
Chairman Pure Food and Legislative Committee. Senator OVERTOX, Referring to the loss in labels about what percentage of loss would you say there would be? Would you make any estimate?
Mr. WHITMARSH. I think that would be almost impossible. It would vary from one house to another. For instance, our house might, because we have watched this bill not have any. Another house might be stuck pretty badly because they have not watched it.
The CHAIRMAN. Miss Alice L. Edwards.
Miss EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, I should like to present Mrs. Baldwin, who will make a statement that will cover the position in general of nine national organizations.
STATEMENT OF MRS. HARRIS E. BALDWIN, 4428 VOLTA PLACE,
CHAIRMAN OF THE LIVING COST DEPARTMENT OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
Mrs. BALDWIN. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee. If I understand Senate bill 2800, one of the purposes of the bill is the better protection of the consumer, and I failed throughout the testimony today to hear any real recognition of the stake of the consumer in industry. It seems that he is rather an important factor, when we are discussing a bill of this nature. Modern scientific methods of production have taken most of the industries out of the home and put them into the factory, so that women who used to make certain things in the home are today forced to go outside of the home and buy those things. Despite the fact that the physical labor of housework has been decidedly lightened, the problem of buying is very great.
We are confronted every day with the very difficult problem of knowing how and when and where to spend our money, and what to do regarding the selection of goods. It is said that between 85 percent and 90 percent of all the retail purchases made in this country are made by women, which makes the woman consumer a very great factor in the industries which are represented in this bill, and yet the woman consumer is a part of a very large unorganized group. She is not organized. She is not vocal. She has no money for organization. She has no research bureau. She has no means of setting up specifications by which she may buy those things which she needs in her home. She must depend on protection of some kind, of guarantees of some kind. There are, in this country great numbers of women who live far from the centers of puplation, who must depend for the things that they buy on mail-order catalogs, on advertising, on the salesman who drives through the countryside. They are frequently finding it very difficult to decide the worth of the goods which they buy. They are asking protection for the things which they buy. They feel that they wish to have more confidence in advertising, so that they may use advertising as an effective means of buying the goods which they need in their homes. Since Christmas or within the last month, I have been, in connection with my work with the National League of Women Voters, in 14 cities in the States of Connecticut, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and everywhere I go I meet with very intense interest in the purposes of this bill, and everywhere I go, women who buy goods designed for home use are urging that all the support possible be given to the passage of S. 2800, in order that their consumer interests may be protected. I wish, if I may, Mr. Chairman, to insert in the record a letter which sets forth the position of the National League of Women Voters, and asks for certain changes in S. 2800.
The CHAIRMAN. You may file that letter.
Mrs. BALDWIN. I think that there were several other organizations who wish to endorse the insertion of these amendments in the bill, and I wonder if it would be advisable to have that read. It is a very short letter.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. Do you care to read it, or I will have the clerk read it?
Mrs. BALDWIN. The letter is dated February 26, 1934, addressed to the Hon. Hubert D. Stephens, chairman, Senate Committee on Commerce, Washington, D.C., and is as follows:
MY DEAR SENATOR STEPHENS: The National League of Women Voters through its board of directors has voted to give its support to Senator Cope land's food and drugs bill, S. 2800. We believe that this extension of the regulation of food and drugs to cover cosmetic and advertising will afford a very real measure of increased protection to the buying ublic.
There are, however, certain points on which we desire to ask for amendments to the bill as it now stands.
Section 8 (e). We wish to see restored the clause from S. 1914, Sec. 8 (e), requiring the listing of the names and quantity of ingredients on the labels of drugs not listed in the recognized pharmacopoeias.
We understand that patented formulas are open to the public and that so far as drugs with registered names are concerned any chemist can by analysis discover their contents. Since the contents of drugs, therefore, cannot be kept secret, there seems no valid motive in objecting to the listing of ingredients on labels. The general public will not go to the trouble and the expense to have analyses made and, unless protected, will continue to buy drugs which would not be purchased if the contents were known.
Listing ingredients would tend to discourage the sale at high prices of common drugs put up in convenient or attractive packages. The public is surely entitled to know what it is buying.
Section 11. This section, as amended by the committee, provides for the setting up of one objectively determinable minimum standard of quality for food.
The limitation to one standard for food entirely eliminates the possibility of grading foods. It will amount merely to "adefinition and minimum standard of identity", including the definition of adulteration. It will give the housewife the assurance that she is buying peas or jelly of a standard, but it will not give her assistance in distinguishng between the various grades of canned peas or preserved fruits. To be of value to the purchasing public, this clause should read : " And (2) objectively determinable standards of quality.” We ask for this amendment.
Section 17 (e). This section exempts the dealer from all responsibility for any offense under the act, not only for the condition of goods when he receives them but even for any deterioration, misbranding, or false advertising which may occur while they are in his possession, and for which he alone can be held responsible. We feel sure that it cannot have been the intent to relieve him of his proper share of responsibility for goods which he offers for sale or sells and therefore ask that section 17 (e) be amended to clear this point,
We trust that your committee will strengthen these points of consumer protection and recommend the bill for passage with these amendments. Sincerely yours,
BELLE SHERWIN, President, The following national organizations ask for these amendments: American Association of University Women, American Dietetic Association, American Home Economics Association, American Nurses Association, Medical Women's National Association, National Congress of Parents and Teachers, National League of Women Voters, National Service Star Legion, National Women's Trade Union League.
Senator COPELAND. Would you be opposed to the bill if those changes were not made, Mrs. Baldwin
Mrs. BALDWIN. We think that it would weaken the bill, Senator Copeland.
Senator COPELAND. That is, unless they are made?
Mrs. BALDWIN. Unless they are made, we think the bill has been weakened by these changes.
Senator COPELAND. Are there other matters in the bill, however, that are worth while?
Mrs. BALDWIN. There are a great many points which are worth while, but we feel that in the points of consumer protection that these are points which have weakened the bill from the way that it was written, even in the first S. 2000 and S. 1944.
Miss EDWARDS. Mrs. Alvin Barber, representing the American Association of University Women.
STATEMENT OF MRS. ALVIN BARBER, REPRESENTING THE
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN
Mrs. BARBER. The American Association of University Women, which I represent, is an organization of 40,000 members who hold degrees from accredited colleges and universities and of 40,000 associate members with 2 or more years of college training. This organization has maintained for some years a national committee for the scientific study of standards for consumer goods. Its members, therefore, endorse with enthusiasm the proposed revision of the Food and Drugs Act as an important step toward the establishment of such standards and urge that a Senate bill providing adequate revision be reported out promptly through your committee.
Miss EDWARDS. The next speaker, Mrs. Robert Kirkpatrick Noble, representing the National Service Star Legion, Inc.
STATEMENT OF MRS. ROBERT KIRKPATRICK NOBLE, 2401 CAL
VERT STREET NW., REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL SERVICE STAR LEGION, INC.
Mrs. NOBLE. Mr. Chairman, I represent the National Service Star Legion,
which was the first patriotic organization formed after the World War. The object is to assist the soldiers and their families. The families in rural distrits, perhaps more than anywhere else, need protection against the false claims about patent medicines, to save them both from wasting their money and, what is more important, from using preparations which may be harmful instead of helpful. They are also buying increasing amounts of canned and other proprietary foods and cosmetics, so that they need more reliable information in selecting them wisely. Therefore, on behalf of the National Service Star Legion, Inc., for the protection of the consumer, I wish to urge that the provisions of S. 2800 be not weakened and that the amendments recommended by Mrs. Baldwin be incorporated therein. Miss EDWARDS. I would like to have Miss Gwen Geach,
congressional secretary of the National League of Women Voters, Washington, D.C., present the statements of some of the organizations which were unable to have representatives here this afternoon.
STATEMENT OF MISS GWEN GEACH, CONGRESSIONAL SECRETARY
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Miss GEACH. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I have here 3 written statements, short statements, 1 from the National Women's Trade Union League of America, 1 from the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and 1 from the American Nurses Association. The one from the latter, submitted by Miss Clara D. Noyes, reads as follows:
The American Nurses' Association, having a membership of approximately 100,000 graduate nurses, is vitally interested in legislation designed for the protection and improvement of the health and welfare of the citizens of this country.
Its board of directors at a meeting in January adopted a resolution in support of the effort now being made to improve the laws governing the preparation and sale of drugs and food products. Because nurses are in a strategic position to observe the harmful effects of impure drugs and foods, they would gladly support the principles as incorporated in S. 2000.
That, I presume, would hold true for the amendment, S. 2800.
The statement from the National Congress of Parents and Teachers is as follows:
The National Congress of Parents and Teachers is an organization having a paid membership of approximately one and one half millions, comprised of 20,000 local associations, in 48 States, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. Its chief objective is child welfare in home, school, church, and community.
While, at the meeting of its board of managers last September, $. 1944 was unanimously endorsed; s. 2800, with the inclusion of the amendments recommended by Mrs. Baldwin, is an acceptable substitute. The inclusion of
Grade Standards” is of particular importance to our membership, which is comprised largely of families of moderate means having children to care for and to educate. The maintenance of adequate health standards demands a knowledge of what we are feeding our children, and planning our expenditures on limited incomes to the best advantage of our families, requires accurate information regarding the quality and amount of our purchases.
May I earnestly request, therefore, that the amendments suggested by Mrs. Baldwin be incorporated in $. 2800 and that the bill be reported promptly and passed.
This is signed by Mrs. William T. Bannerman.
The letter from the National Women's Trade Union League of America reads as follows:
The National Women's Trade Union League of America represents the organized women workers of the country. Our affiliated membership numbers about 500,000, most of whom are wage-earning women. Revision of the Food and Drugs Act receives our hearty endorsement as there is no group in the country more immediately interested in the results of such a revision.
To women who have the spending of limited incomes it is of vital importance that the food and drugs they purchase are unadulterated and pure, and that standards of quality are recognized and indicated. The cosmetic industry has become one of the leading industries in the country and is almost entirely patronized by women. It is absolutely essential that the selling of cosmetics should be regulated so that the purchaser can be assured that her money is not being wasted on products that are a menace to health. Fraudulent and misleading advertising should certainly be controlled in the interest both of the consumer and of public health.
We earnestly recommend that the Committee on Commerce make possible a revision of the Food and Drugs Act which will bring cosmetics under the provisions of the act and which will provide for a standardization of food products and which will control advertising. The National Women's Trade Union League of America does not endorse all of the provisions of S. 2800, and it concurs in the recommendations made by Mrs. Baldwin, representing the group of organizations appearing before your committee. Respectfully,
Secretary-Treasurer. Two other organizations' representatives are now present. They are Miss Mount, representing the American Dietetic Association, and Dr. Louise Taylor Jones, representing the Medical Women's National Association. May I ask leave at this time that they be granted an opportunity to file their statements?
The CHAIRMAN. That may be done.
(The statements on behalf of the American Diatetic Association and on behalf of the Medical Women's National Association, subsequently supplied for the record, are inserted at this point, and are as follows:)
STATEMENT ON THE FOOD AND DRUG ACT FILED BY THE AMERICAN DIETETIC
The American Dietetic Association supports the food and drug bill, S. -800, with amendments as recommended by Mrs. Harris Baldwin of the National League of Women Voters.
The American Dietetic Association has a membership of 2,500 women, all of whom hold degrees in home economics and who fill at the present time such positions as directors of food service in hotels, clubs, restaurants, and cafeterias; and as resident and extension teachers of nutrition and foods. As purchasers of large quantities of food and responsible for the feeding of the sick, persons