As yet there are no indications that the President of the Local Government Board intends to give the force of law to the recommendations submitted to him by the Departmental Committee appointed by the Board to inquire into the use of preservatives and colouring matters in food. It is earnestly to be hoped that at least some of the recommendations of the Committee will become law. It is in the highest degree objectionable that when a Committee of the kind has been appointed, and has carried out a long and difficult investigation, the recommendations which it finally makes should be treated with indifference and should not be acted upon. If effect should not be given to the views arrived at after the careful consideration given to the whole subject by the Committee, a very heavy responsibility would rest upon the Authorities, and it cannot but be admitted that the Committee ought never to have been appointed if it was not originally intended that its recommendations should be made legally effective. Every sensible person who takes the trouble to study the evidence and the report must come to the conclusion that the enforcement of the recommendations is urgently required upon health considerations alone, and must see that a long‐suffering public is entitled to receive rather more protection than the existing legal enactments can afford. To refrain from legalising the principal recommendations in the face of such evidence and of such a report would almost amount to criminal negligence and folly. We are well aware that the subject is not one that is easily “understanded of the people,” and that the complicated ignorance of various noisy persons who imagine that they have a right to hold opinions upon it is one of the stumbling blocks in the way of reform; but we believe that this ignorance is confined, in the main, to irresponsible individuals, and that the Government Authorities concerned are not going to provide the public with a painful exhibition of incapacity and inaction in connection with the matter. There is some satisfaction in knowing that although the recommendations have not yet passed into law, they can be used with powerful effect in any prosecutions for the offence of food‐drugging which the more enlightened Local Authorities may be willing to institute, since it can no longer be alleged that the question of preservatives is still “under the consideration” of the Departmental Committee, and since it cannot be contended that the recommendations made leave any room for doubt as to the Committee's conclusions.
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