A Joint Committee representing both Houses of Parliament, on July 4th, considered, under the chairmanship of Lord Muir‐Mackenzie, the Food and Drugs (Adulteration) Bill, which embodies in consolidated form the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts. The Bill is the first consolidation of these Acts, which date from 1875. Sir Frederick Liddell, Parliamentary counsel, who was accompanied by Mr. J. N. Beckett, of the Ministry of Health, was examined. He said the language of the sections had been harmonised. It was pointed out by members of the Committee that several things were not included in the consolidating Bill. The Chairman said it was a matter for consideration whether it was not for the Minister to say what were the limits of the proposed consolidations. The Minister was entitled to bring in whatever Bill he thought he would. The witness said he thought the Minister would accept the views of the Committee. Sir Henry Slesser, K.C., said, if there was any difficulty about these things, he would rather have the Bill in its present form. It was pointed out that the matters dealt with in a consolidated form did not include, for instance, horseflesh.—The Chairman said there was an unfortunate ambiguity in some of the old Acts. One or two of these matters were left alone for fear of introducing further ambiguity as to intention when they were being considered by the Courts. “Butter fat” and “milk fat” were considered the same thing, so the Committee adopted the phrase “Butter fat derived from milk.” Bread, tea, coffee, chicory, as well as horseflesh, are not mentioned specifically in the Bill, as these were left over for further consideration. It was suggested that all obsolete statutes should be included in a separate clause of the Bill. It was decided to obtain the views of the Minister on this and other points. Provisions are included in the Bill placing restrictions on mixing food and drugs with other ingredients, and giving protection from liability where articles are properly labelled, and there are restrictions on the importation of agricultural and other produce. One of the schedules makes special provisions as to milk. It is laid down that where a sample of milk is procured from a purveyor of milk, he shall, on being required to do so by the person by whom the sample is taken, state the name and address of the seller or consignor from whom he received the milk.
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