We have before us the recently‐issued Annual Report of the Local Government Board on the work done by the Local Authorities under the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts. While preserving the general form and arrangement of its predecessors, it shows that not only the Board itself, but the local authorities also, are coming to an increasing realisation of the importance of the subject. Six years ago we had occasion to point out some of the defects attaching to these reports, and to suggest various improvements that might be made in them. We felt, and expressed at the time our belief, that the Board was much handicapped by the form of quarterly reports imposed on the Public Analyst by the Food and Drugs Acts, and by the non‐existence of any machinery by which it could get together and collate the vast amount of information which those reports ought to, but do not, yield. Until the law is altered the present system must continue, but it is striking evidence of the lack of serious study spent on the matter that for want of effective coordination and control more than one‐half of what may be considered the real and permanent value of the Public Analyst's work goes into the waste‐paper basket. The work done by most Public Analysts as individuals is limited to some few hundreds of samples of any one article of food, but the combined expeperience of them all would in most cases — assuming it could be accurately ascertained—go far towards settling in a single year many of the thorny questions relative to standards and limits which are fought out at such great length and still greater cost to the community in the courts of law.
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