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British Food Journal Volume 25 Issue 5 1923

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 May 1923



All enforcement of police regulations in every country, the result of which is a supposed encroachment upon personal rights or established prejudices, is attended with great difficulties. The Foods and Drugs Act of the United States, which became a law on the 30th of June, 1906, belongs to this category. The adulteration of foods and drugs had been carried on so long that it was deemed a vested right. The enactment of this law was finally permitted by the lobbies opposed to it in the hope and expectation that it would never be enforced. It so happened that I, as Chief of the Bureau of Chemistry, became the enforcing officer of this law by a provision thereof. Immediately I was besieged by interests supposed to be threatened, by strict enforcement, with such persistence and pertinacity as to lead me to believe that they had not expected any opposition on the part of the enforcing officers to their campaign of law paralysis. When they finally learned that it was hopeless to direct their attacks against me they immediately appealed to my superior officers, among them the Secretary of Agriculture, or Minister of Agriculture, as you say in your country, and then finally to the President of the United States. The first results of these appeals to higher authority were extremely favourable to the vested interests. The rulings of the Bureau of Chemistry forbidding the use of alum, saccharin, or chemical preservatives and other deleterious substances in food, were for the most part set aside by executive authority in direct contravention of the provisions of the law. This opposition extended also to spirits and beer. The definitions of the Bureau of Chemistry in regard to the purity of these articles were also contested and carried to my superior officers. The final result of all these appeals was that in many respects the food law was entirely paralysed. In regard to spirits, especially whisky, the contentions of the so‐called rectifiers were adopted as the legal definition of whisky in direct opposition to the provisions of the law and the opinions of the United States courts.


(1923), "British Food Journal Volume 25 Issue 5 1923", British Food Journal, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 41-50.




Copyright © 1923, MCB UP Limited

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