The final report of the Butter Regulations Committee has now been published and it is earnestly to be hoped that Regulations based on the Committee's Recommendations will at once be framed and issued by the Board of Agriculture. It will be remembered that in an Interim Report the Committee recommended the adoption of a limit of 16 per cent. for the proportion of water in butter, and that, acting on this recommendation, the Board of Agriculture drew up and issued the “Sale of Butter Regulations, 1902,” under the powers conferred on the Board by Section 4 of the Food Act of 1899. In the present Report the Committee deal with the other matters referred to them, namely, as to what Regulations, if any, might with advantage be made for determining what deficiency in any of the normal constituents of butter, or what addition of extraneous matter other than water, should raise a presumption until the contrary is proved that the butter is not “genuine.” The Committee are to be congratulated on the result of their labours—labours which have obviously been both arduous and lengthy. The questions which have had to be dealt with are intricate and difficult, and they are, moreover, of a highly technical nature. The Committee have evidently worked with the earnest desire to arrive at conclusions which, when applied, would afford as great a measure of protection—as it is possible to give by means of legislative enactments—to the consumer and to the honest producer. The thorough investigation which has been made could result only in the conclusions at which the Committee have arrived, namely, that, in regard to the administration of the Food Acts, (1) an analytical limit should be imposed which limit should determine what degree of deficiency in those constituents which specially characterise butter should raise a presumption that the butter is not “genuine”; (2) that the use of 10 per cent. of a chemically‐recognisable oil in the manufacture of margarine be made compulsory; (3) that steps should be taken to obtain international co‐operation; and finally, that the System of Control, as explained by various witnesses, commends itself to the Committee.
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