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ILLEGAL FOOD AND DRUG DECISIONS
All of the decisions of the Board of Food and Drug Inspection were illegal. It was not provided for in the Act and the plain purpose of its organization was to prevent the Bureau of Chemistry from carrying out the provisions of the law. Theoretically all of the decisions should be repealed. Many of them were in strict accordance with the terms of the law, and therefore are not necessarily to be deleted. The following numbered decisions are in strict violation of the law, and the first step toward clearing the atmosphere and restoring the Food Law to its pristine form is the repeal of the following food inspection decisions. Some of these decisions were those of the Board of Food and Drug Inspection; others were signed by the members of the Cabinet directed by law to make rules and regulations for carrying the law into effect. Whenever the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Commerce and Labor signed a Food Inspection Decision, it became a rule and regulation. Rules and regulations not for the purpose of carrying the law into effect were illegal. The three secretaries had no warrant of law to decide what was or was not adulterated or misbranded.
The numbers of these decisions which should immediately be repealed are as follows:
No. 76. Pertaining to dyes, chemicals and preservatives in foods.
No. 77 ;Certificate and control of dyes permissible for coloring foods and foodstuffs.
No. 86. Original packages: Interpretation of regulation 2 of Rules and Regulations for. Enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act.
No. 87. Labeling of "Corn Syrup."
No. 89 Amendment to Food Inspection Decision No. 76, relating to use in Foods of Benzoate of Soda and Sulphur Dioxide.
No. 92. The Use of Copper Salts in the Greening of ;Foods.
No. 102. Entry of Vegetables Greened With Copper Salts.
No. 104. Amendment to Food, Inspection Decision No. 76 and No. 89 Relating to Use in Foods of Benzoate of Soda.
No. 107. ;Decision of the Attorney-General in Regard to the Referee Board.
No. 108. Importation of Coffee.
No. 113. Labeling of Whisky Mixtures and Imitations Thereof Under the Foodand Drugs Act of June 30, 1906.
No. 117. The Use of Certified Colors.
No. 118. Labeling of Whisky Compounds under F. I. D No. 113.
No. 120. Labeling of Ohio and Missouri Wines.
No. 121. Floating of Shellflsh. the United States.
No. 125. Labeling of Cordials.
No. 127 Decision of the Attorney-General in Regard to the Labeling of Whisky sold under Distinctive Names.
No. 130. Amendment to Regulation No. 5.
No. 131. The Composition of Evaporated Milk.
No. 134. The Labeling of New Orleans Molasses.
No. 135. Saccharin in Foods.
No. 138. Saccharin in Foods.
No. 142. Saccharin in Foods.
The abolition of the above Food Inspection Decisions will clear the way for the remaining steps.
The most important of these remaining steps is to repeal the permission given by the Remsen Board of Consulting Scientific Experts to add alum, benzoate of soda, saccharin and sulphur dioxide to our foods.
From the earliest days of food regulation the use of alum in foods has been condemned. It is universally acknowledged as a poisonous and deleterious substance in all countries. The United States is the only country which permits, of course illegally, the addition of alum to our food supply.
The next most important step is to secure from the officials enforcing the Food and Drugs Act a recognition of the actions of the courts under the operation of the Food and Drugs Act in convicting the manufacturers of bleached flour and Coco-Cola. In all these cases judgments of the Court condemning the use of all these substances were secured, but in no case was any -effort ever made by the enforcing officers to follow up the, Court decision. By reason of this fact interstate commerce in foods containing bleached flour, benzoate of soda, sulphur dioxide and sulphites, together with soft drinks containing caffein, such as Coca-Cola, 90 on unimpeded and unrestricted in all parts of the United States. The health of our people is constantly threatened by the -use of these articles in our food.
The next step in the reform of the execution of the Food and Drugs Act is to follow out the provisions of the law absolutely. At the present time the officials in charge of the enforcement of the law boast of the fact that they are not following out the punitive sections of the law, but its corrective sections. Unfortunately for those who make this plea, the law contains no corrective measure except by punishment. It is a new law enacted by the officials themselves without authority of Congress which they are enforcing.
The final step to complete the restoration of the law is the repeal of the provision in the appropriation bill abolishing the Bureau of Chemistry and the restoration of the execution of the law to the revivified Bureau.
This is the only amende honorable that could possibly be made for the destruction of the Bureau of Chemistry and the transfer of its authority by an item engrafted ,on an appropriation bill. It may be that the present arrangement is much better than that enacted by Congress. It would be entirely proper, therefore, after this restoration is made, to introduce a new bill into the Congress of the United States, providing for the destruction of the Bureau of Chemistry and the transfer of its authority to the present unit in the Secretary's office.
No attack has been made upon the provisions of the law. They remain exactly as Congress enacted them. It is, therefore, the duty of the present administrative unit to urge the abolition of all these illegal restrictions on their authority and to proceed with all vigor to the execution of the provisions of the law as they were enacted on June 30, 1906.
EFFECT OF "THE JUNGLE"
There is every reason to believe that Upton Sinclair's novel entitled "The Jungle," in which the deplorable conditions in the packing industry were dramatically portrayed, was one of the chief causes of the enactment of the meat inspection law which was approved the same day as the Food and Drugs Act. It may possibly happen that this history of a crime more revolting even than the horrors portrayed by Upton Sinclair may serve the purpose of causing popular indignation of a character that will secure the salvation of the Food and Drugs Act.
If the Bureau of Chemistry had been permitted to enforce the law as it was written'and as it tried to do, what would have been the condition, now? No food product in our country would have any trace of benzoie acid, sulphurous acid or sulphites, or any alum or saccharin, save for medicinal purposes. No soft drink would contain any caffein, or theobromine. No bleached flour would enter interstate commerce. Our foods and drugs would be wholly without any form of adulteration and misbranding. The health of our people would be vastly improved and their life greatly extended. The manufacturers of our food supply, and especially the millers, would devote their energies to improving the public health and promoting happiness in every home by the production of whole ground, unbolted cereal flours and meals.
The resistance of our people to infectious diseases would be greatly increased by a vastly improved and more wholesome diet. Our example would be followed by the civilized world and thus bring to the whole universe the benefits which our own people had received.
We would have been spared the ignominy and disgrace of great scientific men bending their efforts to defeat the purpose of one of the greatest laws ever enacted for the protection of the public welfare. Eminent officials of our Government would have escaped the indignation of outraged public opinion because they. permitted and encouraged these frauds on the public. The cause of a wholesome diet would not have been put back for fifty or a hundred years. And last but least, this History of a Crime would never have been written.