We publish below a Circular which has been issued by the Ministry of Health (Circular No. 325), addressed to the Town Clerks of the various Councils, urging the Councils not to take actions against vendors of adulterated milk except in cases where it has been proved by repeated sampling that the milk from such vendors is consistently below the legal standard. A more stupid and damaging circular it is not possible to conceive, and the matter is one which calls for very strong representations being made by the Councils throughout the country. The effect of adopting the recommendations of the circular in question would be to practically stultify the Food and Drugs Acts in so far as the sale of adulterated milk is concerned, and it would further encourage the dairy farmer to keep certain breeds of cows which are well known for the very large quantity of milk which they produce of poor quality. The mixed milk from a properly selected herd of cows which are properly fed will never fall below the extremely lenient standard fixed by the Board of Agriculture. Whether the production of inferior or adulterated milk is due to the extraction of cream, the addition of water, improper feeding or improper selection of the cows, is of no moment to the consumer, the motive for the adoption of any of these methods is pecuniary benefit. If the desire of the Ministry of Health is to encourage adulteration and sophistication of food and to bring to nought what little protection is afforded to the consumer by the administration of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts, a more effective Circular could hardly have been issued.
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