IN the October number of THE BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL, while disclaiming any intention of supporting or opposing any political party or any section of politicians, we stated our opinion that the fiscal policy which has been outlined before the country by Mr. CHAMBERLAIN is eminently one which requires to be put to the test of experiment and which cannot be profitably argued about upon theoretical bases. In connection with the allegation that by following the policy of leaving our doors open to those who shut their own doors in our faces, we are able to obtain goods at less expense than would be the case under other conditions, we pointed out that it would be well for the public to consider whether that which is so cheap may not also, to a great extent, be particularly nasty. The desirability of considering the nature and quality of so‐called “ cheap ” foods, supplied to us by various countriies without restriction, does not, as yet, appear to have entered the heads of those who have made matter for political controversy out of what is, in reality, a scientific question. The facts are not sufficiently known, or, in consequence of the proverbial carelessness of our generation, are not clearly appreciated. And yet, as it seems to us, some of those facts are of paramount importance to those who desire to study the subject in a calm and scientific manner and outside the region of political turmoil. What do we get from the various countries whose producers and merchants are free to “dump” their goods in this country without the restrictive influence of duty payments? Great Britain has made it known to all the world that “Rubbish may be Shot Here,” and we venture to say that the fullest advantage has been taken, and is taken, of the permission. From America, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, and Belgium, in fact from every producing country—including now even Russia and Siberia, we get inferior or scientifically‐adulterated articles which are sold to the public “ cheap.” Milk and butter scientifically adulterated, or produced under improper conditions in such a way that their composition becomes the same as physically‐adulterated products, condensed “milk” minus cream, cheese practically devoid of fat, or “ filled ” (as it is called) with margarine, all reach us in enormous quantities from most of our near and dear neighbours. Butter and certain wines and beers, loaded with injurious ‘ preservative” chemicals and the sale of which is prohibited in the country of production, are sent to the easily‐entered British “dumping‐ground” for the delectation of its confiding inhabitants. “Tinned” foods prepared from raw materials of inferior character or of more than questionable origin, are copiously unloaded on our shores to feed our complaisant population,—instead of being consigned to the refuse destructors which should be their proper destination; while, every now and then, when something worse than usual has been supplied, representative specimens of this delectable class of preparation are proved to have caused outbreaks of violent illness—those so‐called ptomaine poisonings which, of late years, have increased in number and in virulence to so distinctly alarming an extent. Flour made from diseased or damaged grain, or itself “ sick ” or damaged, and so “ processed ” as to mask its real condition; flour, again, adulterated with other and inferior meals, are “ goods ” supplied to us in ample amount for the benefit of those whose mainstay is some form of bread or flour‐food. The list might be continued literally ad nauseam.
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