From what has been said in this journal regarding standards and associated regulations for jams and allied products, it appears that this is the only English‐speaking country where no standards and no regulations exist for this very important item of the food supply. We manufacture more jam than any other of these countries. We are the greatest consumers, per head of population, of jam. It is therefore a very serious disadvantage to the consumer that it should be left entirely to financially interested persons to formulate their own standards for their own advantage. It would be inexpedient in any case to allow this, but when such “standards” as those we have referred to have been adopted by a great combine, and the products made in conformity with those standards forced on the consumer, a case bad to begin with is made worse. The greater proportion of the jam and marmalade put on the market is either of poor quality or of very poor quality. The poor quality stuff may be labelled “Full Fruit Standard,” and the meaning that is to be attributed to these words is left to the purchaser to find out. We say that this legend is no recommendation, and in saying this we find our opinion to be supported by at least one important member of the combine. One of their labels is before us as we write. The words “This marmalade is guaranteed to conform to the agreed standard of the Food Manufacturers' Federation” is printed in such small type that it is by no means easy to read; it is printed at the very bottom of the label and in such a way that at first glance it appears to be merely an ornamental border. Now the object of making the marmalade is to sell it, and if in the opinion of the makers the words which we have quoted above would aid that sale they would have been conspicuously displayed and printed in large letters on the label. The label also says that the marmalade is made “from … oranges and sugar”; it does not say that it is made from oranges and sugar only. Now this label may be taken as a fair specimen of all the rest. It gives the purchaser no information about that which he is buying, and it is safe to say that not one person in ten thousand knows anything about the “standards” referred to. If the interests of the consumer were fairly balanced against the profits of the manufacturer, a label would read more or less as follows:—“This product conforms to the standard of the Food Manufacturers’ Federation.” “It consists of fresh (name) fruit or fruits and sugar only in the proportions — per cent. fruit and — per cent. sugar.” If there is nothing to fear there is nothing to conceal. Why then is such a label not used?
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