The Annual Report of the Ministry of Health for the year ended March 31st, 1925, has been issued. The section dealing with the administration of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts states that of the 10,516 butter samples analysed during the year, 151 or 1·4 per cent., were reported as adulterated as compared with 1·5 per cent. for 1923. Loading with water is the method of adulteration now most practised, and 74 samples contained water in excess of the maximum of 16 per cent. allowed; 68 contained foreign fats such as margarine, and 9 contained boric acid as a preservative in amounts exceeding 0·5 per cent. One of the samples which contained excess water was also found to contain 0·44 per cent. of washing soda. At Leeds an informal sample of butter was purchased by the police, and as a result of the Public Analyst reporting it to be wholly margarine, they arrested the vendor, a hawker, and upon conviction he was sent to prison for three months for obtaining money under false pretences. Of the 3,456 samples of margarine reported upon, 33, or 1 per cent., were regarded as adulterated; 24 by reason of containing water in excess of the allowed maximum of 16 per cent., 4 for containing excessive amounts of preservative, 4 for containing more than 10 per cent. of butter in contravention of Section 8 of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1899, and one for containing a large percentage of free fatty acids (rancidity). In a case brought before a King's Bench Divisional Court, margarine was sold under an approved fancy name, but the wrapper also bore the words, “Churned with fresh milk.” It was held that these words did not form part of the descriptive name in contravention of Section 8 of the Butter and Margarine Act, 1907, and that the magistrate was not bound to follow the decision given by the Scottish Court in relation to different words.
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