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British Food Journal Volume 14 Issue 6 1912

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 June 1912



The British Medical Journal observes that there is overwhelming evidence that the digestive disorders to which many young children are subject have resulted from the practice of feeding them upon certain foods largely composed of starch. Hitherto no very great effort has been made to prevent these foods being sold, beyond the general advice which is given to mothers and nurses by doctors and health visitors as to the harmfulness of them. Our contemporary points out that the County Council of Rutland have, however, succeeded in obtaining a conviction before the local justices against a druggist for selling an infants' food which was found by the Public Analyst for the County to contain upwards of 70 per cent. of practically unaltered starch, and which was therefore held to be not of the nature, substance, and quality demanded by the purchaser. It appears that the preparation was described as being suitable for an infant only a few days old. A dessertspoonful of the mixture was directed to be put into a basin to be mixed to the thickness of a smooth cream with cold milk or water; to this was to be added half a pint of milk and water in equal parts, and it was then to be brought to the boil. It was contended by the vendor that the boiling would convert the starch into sugar, and this view was supported by a member of the “Society of Public Analysts and other Analytical Chemists.” The British Medical Journal further observes that there are some artificially prepared infants' foods, not containing 70 per cent of starch, in which the conversion of the starch into saccharine bodies may become complete, but considers that it is not very satisfactory that the harmfulness or otherwise of such preparations should be left to the decision of a local bench of magistrates—a course which may well be compared to our disadvantage with that which it is now possible to adopt in Queensland under the provisions of the Health Act of 1911. Section 17 of the Act enables the Health Commissioner to cause to be examined any food which is advertised, for the purpose of ascertaining its composition, properties, or efficiency. He may then report the result of the examination to the Government and publish his report in any newspaper which circulates in the colony. Moreover, the Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Health Commissioner, prohibit the advertising or sale of any food which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, is injurious to life or health. Until such an enactment is in force in this country it must be left to other public authorities to follow the example of the Rutland County Council.,


(1912), "British Food Journal Volume 14 Issue 6 1912", British Food Journal, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 101-120.




Copyright © 1912, MCB UP Limited

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