The Food Bill has emerged from the Grand Committee on Trade, and will shortly be submitted, as amended, to the House of Commons. Whatever further amendments may be introduced, the Bill, when passed into law, will but afford one more example of the impotence of repressive legislation in regard to the production and distribution of adulterated and inferior products. We do not say that the making of such laws and their enforcement are not of the highest importance in the interests of the community; their administration—feeble and inadequate as it must necessarily be—produces a valuable deterrent effect, and tends to educate public opinion and to improve commercial morality. But we say that by the very nature of those laws their working can result only in the exposure of a small portion of that which is bad without affording any indications as to that which is good, and that it is by the Control System alone that the problem can be solved. This fact has been recognised abroad, and is rapidly being recognised here. The system of Permanent Analytical Control was under discussion at the International Congress of Applied Chemistry, held at Brussels in 1894, and at the International Congress of Hygiene at Budapest in 1895, and the facts and explanations put forward have resulted in the introduction of the system into various countries. The establishment of this system in any country must be regarded as the most practical and effective method of ensuring the supply of good and genuine articles, and affords the only means through which public confidence can be ensured.
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