The Milk (Special Designations) Order, 1936, which with its associated circular letter No. 1533, both dated April of this year, are the two latest issues by the Ministry of Health in relation to the purity of the milk supplies of this country. The whole tendency of modern legislation, so far as it relates to the production and the sale of milk, is to bring the trade in milk in all its branches within the compass of legislation based on scientific principles; and these principles in their turn have been derived from extensive experiment and observation in the regions of chemistry, physics, bacteriology, veterinary practice, and medicine, all of which have vastly extended their scope during the present century. The Ministry of Health, as the central authority, acting through the county councils and sanitary authorities in England and Wales, seeks to control in the interest of consumers and producer alike every detail of the production of milk from cow byre to shop counter. The bovines themselves, premises, plant, vessels, methods of transport, nothing is foreign to its purpose. These and similar regulations point to a general tightening up of the conditions under which milk may be sold. The control of a trade that is in some respects the most important in the country. The Ministries of Health and of Agriculture have tried to do not only much but many things, and the measure of control that they exercise at present has only been obtained by overcoming the inertia of ignorance and prejudice, and in many cases the active opposition of vested interests.
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