« ForrigeFortsett »
We move that that entire paragraph be stricken out. We are in · favor of definitions for standards. They have been used for many years. They have been nearly always found to be correct. The joint standards committee has determined and fixed these standards, and generally, in fact, nearly always, the work has, we believe, been efficiently done, but the fixing of definitions of standards is entirely a different proposition from the establishing of grades; and on that point we call attention to the fact that at the Century of Progress, in 1933, held in Chicago, the United States Department of Agriculture maintained an educational food exhibit, evidently in support of the theory on which the pending Senate bill 2800 has been founded.
As it relates to grades of food products, the Secretary would, under this bill, have power, by official rulings, to require the labels of food products to bear a statement of United States grades A, B, C, or similar designations.
As a matter of fact, under the proposed grading plan, United States grade A would probably be made low enough for packers in all sections to market an important part of their product as grade A. In order to meet competition, manufacturers would be interested in reducing the quality of United States grade A instead of improving it.
The maintenance of United States grades A, B, and C will, under this bill, necessarily rest on Government policing, and, with approximately 50,000 food establishments in existence in this country, adequate policing would be impossible. This would lead to unfair competition among employers and dealers, as well as to the defection. of consumers.
Under the proposed plan of grading, it would not be in the interest of any manufacturer to maintain and improve the quality of United States grade A, while the Government, by its system of labeling, renders it impossible for him to gain the benefit of its efforts in his behalf. He would not go to this expense. He could not afford to. This country contains a myriad of manufacturers who have established reputations for their brands of foods. When they adopt grades, they cannot lower them except at the risk of permanent loss of reputation and financial destruction. In other words, they are bound to protect and maintain the quality of their products or go out of business. As to such products, the consumers need no policemen for their protection. These manufacturers and dealers are their own policemen and their constant effort is and has been to win, by improving the quality of their products, and reducing the costs.
Therefore we feel that this subdivision (e) to which I refer should be entirely eliminated.
I next call attention to paragraph (f) on page 9, of which item 2 reads as follows:
A food shall be deemed to be misbranded (2) if the common or usual name of each ingredient such food bears or contains in order of predominance by weight is not shown on the label.
Now, the requirement there, of a statement showing the ingredients to be named in the order of their predominance, by weight, as we believe, is unnecessary. If we are required to give the ingredients, why should that not be sufficient? Merely adding that they must be stated in the order of their predominance by weight means oppor
tunities for error. These foods are not prepared by college professors. You have to do the work through ordinary skilled labor. Errors are liable to creep in. That paragraph will be very fruitful of errors, and render this law a difficult thing with which to comply. We therefore ask that in lines 23 and 24, the words "in order of predominance by weight" be eliminated.
Senator CARAWAY. What is the page?
Mr. MILLER. That is page 9, lines 23 and 24.
The CHAIRMAN. Repeat the words you want stricken out, please. I did not catch them.
Mr. MILLER. We move that the words in lines 23 and 24 on page 9, which read as follows, be stricken out:
In order of predominance by weight.
We next call attention to paragraph (g) on page 10, which reads as follows:
A food shall be deemed to be misbranded--
(g) If it is for special dietary uses, such as by infants or invalids or for other special nutritional requirements, and its label fails to bear, if so required by regulations as provided by section 22, statements concerning its vitamin, mineral, and other dietary properties which fully inform the purchaser as to its nutritional value.
That paragraph (g), as written, we feel, might apply to many products, but it should not apply, as we believe, unless the label or the advertising matter recommends the product for infants and invalids. We therefore suggest to the Committee that after the word "if" the following words be inserted, after the first word, there, in the paragraph.
If the label or advertising matter says—
Then the paragraph will read:
If its label or advertising matter says it is for special dietary use-
Our feeling is, and our reason for this suggestion is, that distributors of food products should not be held to something which may be taken by infants or invalids, unless it is recommended. In other words, the advertising matter and the statements on the label should determine the purpose for which the manufacturer intended it to be used.
We next call attention to section 12, a section which provides for permit factories, and in connection with section 12-they should be taken together-we call attention to section 16, page 23, under paragraph (a), lines 11, 12, 13, and 14, and move that the following words be stricken out.
Commencing in line 10, the last word, there, in line 10
or that has been manufactured, processed, or packed in a factory or establishment, the operator of which did not at the time of manufacture, processing, or packing, hold a valid permit, if so required by regulations under section 12. This goes back now to the permit section 12.
The CHAIRMAN. You just read from section 16, did you? Mr. MILLER. I am reading from section 16; yes. We do not wish to object to anything that we think should not go out. We do not want to confuse the committee by anything of that kind, but we are moving that the entire section 12, be stricken out. That is, section
12 relates to permit factories. With that, we also want stricken out the words which I have just read in section 16, lines 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.
We then call attention to line 12, page 25, which also depends upon this permit business, and move to strike out all after the word "bond" in line 12. The words we want stricken out there read as follows:
Any article condemned by reason of the manufacturer, processor, or packer not holding a valid permit when so required by regulations under section 12 shall be disposed of by destruction.
Destroy the goods, not because they are illegal, not because they are unwholesome, not because they are misbranded, nor for any reason except that they were not operated in a permit factory.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Miller, you discussed section 15 a few moments ago. Some reference has been made to what is commonly called "multiple seizures."
Mr. MILLER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you care to discuss that in this connection or not?
Mr. MILLER. I will be glad to answer any question that it is possible for me to answer, Mr. Chairman. I will do anything I can to be helpful to this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. I thought perhaps you might have some views on that particular subject.
Mr. MILLER. I shall come to that later. What I am trying to do now is to get these clauses taken care of that hinge upon section 12, the permit business.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mr. MILLER. We are going to move to strike out the whole permit business, and then I will be glad to show you why we think it should be stricken out.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Proceed.
Mr. MILLER. Now, we also call attention to section 17, page 26, paragraph 6. We move that that entire paragraph be stricken out. Well, it should be called the "subdivision 6.' The words we want stricken out read as follows:
(6) The introduction into interstate commerce of any food, drug, or cosmetic if the manufacturer, processor, or packer does not hold a valid permit when so required by regulations under section 12.
In other words, these different paragraphs to which I have referred all hinge upon section 12. Now, what is section 12? Section 12 refers to the establishment of permit factories. It provides that under certain circumstances-I presume it will not be necessary to read the whole paragraph; it is lengthy-but it relates to the establishment, if the Department cannot determine what it wants, or get what its wants there, under certain circumstances, that the business shall be required to stop and not continue until it obtains a permit. In other words, it cannot operate without a permit from the Secretary of Agriculture.
Now, we feel that that is a very onerous provision, as well as a very unnecessary one. The reason that it is unnecessary is this: Already ample provisions is made by law to take care of everything
of that kind, and this bill also has adequate provision under the seizure clause, and the power of injunctions issued by the United States courts. Anybody can be halted by the United States courts through injunction from doing business. Immediately they would be in contempt of court. Goods can be taken by seizure. We have the feeling that now this paragraph does an unnecessary thing, an unwarranted thing, to compel a manufacturer or a dealer to obtain a permit to do business in interstate commerce when there are other ample remedies, and we therefore move to strike out all of section 12 entirely, and all of the other matters to which I have referred which hinge upon that section.
When this law is passed you want something that will be workable, something that will be reasonable, something that will not unnecessarily annoy manufacturers and distributors of food products or any other products; and we feel that that is something that should not be imposed upon manufacturers as this section would do; wholly unnecessary, because there is already a remedy provided in this bill.
Senator OVERTON. Is the seizure a remedy?
Mr. MILLER. I beg your pardon?
Senator OVERTON. Is the seizure, provided by the act, a remedy? Does not a seizure relate only in case of violations of the act that can be discovered after the product has entered into interstate commerce?
Mr. MILLER. There must be a valid reason, of course, for a seizure. That is true.
Senator OVERTON. This section 12, in relation to the issuance of permits, refers to one particular case, and that is when the violations of the act cannot be discovered, after they have entered, after the product has entered into interstate commerce.
Mr. MILLER. Yes; that is right. That is true.
Senator OVERTON. And then, after the product has entered into interstate commerce, how can you resort to the remedy of seizure, if the violations of the act are not discoverable?
Mr. MILLER. You can resort to the remedy of injunction. Yes, sir; if there is anything that occurred, he can be enjoined from repeating it, if you cannot find the article; but he can be enjoined from repeating it. This permit business is a dangerous power, I want to suggest to the committee. Some time in the distant future, it might be abused. It is a very dangerous thing. It might be used for wrong purposes, and there is no reason why that risk should be taken in connection with this law. It will be constantly annoying and a dangerous thing.
I next call attention to page 22, paragraph (b), which says:
It shall be the duty of each United States attorney to whom satisfactory evidence has been presented by the Secretary of any violation, for institution of criminal libel for condemnation, or other proceedings under this act
Now, here are the words, following, that we are going to ask to be stricken out. We are calling attention to them. They are in lines. 12, 13, and 14
or to whom any health, food, or drug officer of any State or Territory, or political subdivision thereof, presents evidence satisfactory to the United States attorney of any such violation.
In other words, after the word "Act" in line 11, the following words we move to be stricken out:
Or to whom any health, food, or drug officer of any State or Territory, or political subdivision thereof, presents evidence satisfactory to the United States attorney of any such violation.
That will leave the paragraph so that the United States attorney will act under the direction and supervision of the Secretary of Agriculture, as he should.
The paragraph as now written appears to us inconsistent with the next paragraph, (c), which provides
The Secretary shall
before reporting any violation of this act, and so forth
act, to the United States attorney for institution of criminal proceedings, thereunder, afford due notice and opportunity for hearing to interested persons. The language to which we object in (b) is inconsistent with that, and would place in the hands of every little village officer opportunity to annoy, possibly from prejudices, but that paragraph, as written, as we believe, is wholly inconsistent with paragraph (c).
We next call attention to page 26, line 24. That is paragraph (b) right at the bottom of that page. There are penalties provided in this paragraph, this part of section 17, providing for penalties, and this paragraph now reads as follows:
Any persons who violates or causes to be violated any of the provisions of paragraph (a)—
And there are a lot of provisions in that-it is a crime. We suggest to the committee the advisability of inserting after the word who", in line 24, the word "knowingly ", so that it will read: "Any person who knowingly violates or causes to be violated." Otherwise, you may place innocent persons' liberties in jeopardy, and we know you do not want to do that. There is no reason, in order to have a good food law, to make it unreasonable.
We next call attention to paragraph 25, page 38, which provides that this law shall take effect within 6 months after its passage. The labels that are now going out for the coming year's products, or are now being printed for the coming year's products, cannot be used within 6 months from the time of the passage of this act. That is an impossibility, and to have this act become effective within 6 months after the date of its passage, would cost manufacturers and dealers millions of dollars, probably, in unnecessary expense.
We now have a good food law, and we believe it is well administered, and we are aware of no reason why any such haste as that should be incorporated into this bill.
Senator OVERTON. I want to ask for information. Would not the loss of labels be negligible in comparison with the volume of business?
Mr. MILLER. I think not very negligible; no, sir. It would cost immense sums of money. Yes, sir.
Senator OVERTON. Could you give us any estimate at all as to what would be the loss, if any, in connection with labels?
Mr. MILLER. I could not. I would not want to attempt to do that, because I might mislead you, and I do not want to make a statement to this committee, in which I do not give correct infor