The Department of Health for Scotland, in a communication relating to the report of the Sub‐Committee appointed by the Scientific Advisory Committee to investigate the use of the Freezing Point (Hortvet) Test as a means of detecting added water in milk, observes this test is capable of furnishing conclusive evidence regarding the presence or absence of added water. While the Hortvet Test is of undoubted assistance to Local Authorities when considering the institution of proceedings in a particular case, its use should also tend to protect the seller of milk in border‐line cases where the milk may be found to be deficient in non‐fatty solids but actually to contain no added water. It is pointed out in the communication that the Secretary of State is aware that certain Public Analysts are already applying the test to milk samples found to contain less than 8·5 per cent. of solids not fat, and that the results to an increasing extent are being produced in Court in the case of legal proceedings. Under Section 28 of the Food and Drugs (Adulteration) Act, 1928, the production of a certificate of a Public Analyst in the form prescribed by the Act is sufficient evidence of the facts stated therein unless it is desired by one of the parties that the Public Analyst be called as a witness. Where reliance is to be placed on the result of a Hortvet Test, however, it is desirable for the Public Analyst to give evidence in person, since the statutory certificate has no direct applicability with respect to this test. What the Public Analyst finds as the result of the test may nevertheless form part of the grounds on which he places his statutory declaration that a particular sample of milk contains added water. In such a case the ability to lead evidence to that effect may have an important bearing on the outcome of the proceedings.
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