It must be evident to those who read the reports of the legal cases which are published month after month in this journal, that the administration of the laws relating to the sale of bad, adulterated, and impoverished food in this country is rapidly becoming chaotic. We labour under the radical defects in the Acts themselves, the negligence of many of the authorities whose duty it is to set the law in motion, the lassitude of Parliament, and the apparent impotence of Government Departments. Add to these the mournful incapacity so frequently exhibited by occupants of the magisterial or judicial bench, when called upon to adjudicate on matters involving scientific points—even when these are only decimal points—the quibbling of defending lawyers, and the remarkable allegations of certain types of reputed expert witnesses, and we have a picture which can only be considered as in the highest degree discreditable. We admit that the picture has its ludicrous aspect, but the issues involved are far too serious to justify laughter or negligence ad infinitum. The difficulties, due to the causes mentioned, which lie in the way of those who really desire to see the Acts effectively enforced, are daily becoming greater, and in the absence of early and drastic remedial measures, can only lead to chaos. We urge again, as we have repeatedly urged before, that immediate, vigorous, and comprehensive action should be taken by the Government Authorities concerned to give legal effect to the recommendations of their own Departmental Committees, and to meet the representations so frequently made by those who are called upon to set the law in motion. If the absence of effective, action is to be attributed to real and not merely to apparent impotence, the only method of securing ultimate reform is that education of public opinion which it is the main object of this journal to carry out. The people who, rightly enough, are disturbed about the physical deterioration of the nation, and who hope great things from yet another Departmental Committee's investigations and reports—probably, like others we could name, doomed to pigeon‐holes and sterility—have not yet appreciated that WATER AIR, and FOOD are the main determining factors in all questions of human deterioration. When the fact is grasped by a sufficient number of persons—possessing votes—it may be hoped that there will be an awakening, and that some legislator of Herculean power will arise to cleanse the Augean stable.
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