THE PASSING OF THE BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY
CHEMISTRY FIRST RECOGNIZED
In the organic act establishing the Departmentof Agriculture in 1862, no scientific department was mentioned. The Commissionerevidently regarded chemistry as the dominant science in the promotion of agriculture.The first scientist appointed in the Department of Agriculture was the chemist, Prof.Charles Wetherell, of Philadelphia. The activities of the chemist were first designatedas the Division of Chemistry. At a latter date a more resounding title was adopted,namely, "Bureau." The term "Bureau" has since then been extendedas a name to many activities, not only in the Department of Agriculture but in allthe other departments and subdivisions of scientific research. The whole activitiesof the Government from the organizing point of view are now designated as "Bureaucracy."In the present agricultural appropriation bill, as passed by both houses of Congressand signed by the President, this original activity of the Department, viz., theBureau of Chemistry, has been eliminated. This was done without any action of Congress,except as found in the appropriation bill. The rule of. procedure forbids the inaugurationof new legislation in an appropriation bill. Unfortunately, when the bill was beforethe House of Representatives no one interposed a point of order on the abolitionof the Bureau of Chemistry. The Food and Drugs Act specifically charges the Bureauof Chemistry with its enforcement. The present appropriation bill, 1927-28, not onlydestroys the Bureau of Chemistry, but violates the law in transferring the activitiesof food administration to a new unit under the immediate supervision of the Secretaryof Agriculture.
Naturally one of the great problems of chemistryin its application to agriculture is the study of the soil. The Bureau of Chemistrydid not neglect this primary activity. There was established in the Bureau the mostextensive soil investigation that had ever been attempted. The purpose of this investigationwas to determine the natural productivity of soils, gathered from all quarters, andkept under standard environment of light, moisture and temperature. Typical soilswere secured from the various states of the Union. There was added to this collectionsamples of the. celebrated field at Rothamsted, England, which had been cultivatedin wheat for nearly one hundred years without receiving any artifical fertilizerwhatever. In the midst of these investigations a new Bureau of Soils was createdin the Department of Agriculture, entirely distinct from the Bureau of Chemistry.At the demand of this new Bureau of Soils all activities of the Bureau of Chemistryin the progress of its investigations were ordered discontinued and the expensiveequipmeni was abandoned and destroyed. At the instigation of this new Bureau of Soils,publication of the data already obtained was denied.
The small remnant of the Bureau of Chemistryafter its separation from the enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act, under this illegalaction, has been combined with the Bureau of Soils and has practically lost its identity.
Chemists in particular in this country shouldbe inquisitive in regard to the enactment of such illegal provisions, demolishinga great Bureau fundamentally related to the greatest problems in Agricultural researchand public welfare. The handicap which the small remnant of the old Bureau will encounterwhen it is combined with the dominant Bureau of Soils, creates a doubt of the mostserious character as to its future prosperity. The theories on which the Bureau ofSoils has heretofore been conducted have never received the approbation of competentsoil chemists in this or in any other country. Among those may be mentioned threeof great renown, namely Professor Hilgard, of the University of California, ProfessorHopkins of the University of Illinois, both now passed to their reward, and Sir DanielHall of England, former Director of the famous Agricultural Experiment Station atRothamsted, and now attached to the. ministry of health. When changes of this stupendouscharacter can be made in a way which is thoroughly illegal and undesirable, it isa threat to the progress and welfare of chemistry in the whole country. In formerdays the Bureau of Chemistry was a power in the land. Beginning its activities in1863, in 1883 it led the long fight for the enactment of the Food and Drugs Bill,which was finally accomplished on the 30th of June, 1906. When this law went intoeffect on the first of January, 1907, the Bureau of Chemistry had already made amplepreparations for its enforcement. It had conducted a long series of experiments uponhealthy young men for the purpose of determining the effects of preservatives andcoloring matters in foods on health and digestion. It had secured from the Congressauthority to formulate food standards which came into play on the day the Act wasto be enforced.
The Bureau of Chemistry started to enforce thisAct in the light of this preparation. Under the law the Bureau was the sole judge,in its capacity as grand juror, as to whether any sample of food or drugs was adulteratedor misbranded. Its decision was not final, except as to the bringing of an indictment.The final decision of all these points was placed by Congress, very properly in theFederal Courts, where it naturally belonged. Those who adulterated our foods anddrugs foresaw that if they could cripple the activities of the Bureau of Chemistry,they could save themselves from indictments. They proceeded along successful linesto effect this paralysis. The decisions of the Bureau in regard to adulterants andcoloring matters and in regard to proper names and labels were speedily overturnedcontrary to the provisions of the law. The Solicitor of the Department and the Secretarythereof joined in this destruction of the functions of the Bureau. These restrictionsand illegal limitations on the Bureau have never been removed and finally the Bureauitself was sacrificed, crucified and abolished.
HOW IT WAS DONE
There are many mysteries which, though seeminglyunsolvable, still occupy the mind of man. Perhaps Conan Doyle in the person of SherlockHolmes might have turned the light on these dark places. Alas! he didn't. Now heis old and shaky; his hand trembles and his words stick in his throat, or, as theLatin poet has said it, "Vox in faucibus haesit." We shall neverlearn from him who killed Cock Robin, who struck Billy Patterson, nor what becameof Charlie Ross.
While the death of the Bureau of Chemistry didnot take place until midnight of June 30, 1927, it had already been irrevocably decreed.The criminals are still at large. It is wise to try to unravel this mystery whilewe may. Was it manslaughter or murder in the first degree? Was it assassination orsuicide? Was it done legally, or was it a clear case of lynching?
THE CORPUS DELECTI
First let us produce the corpus delicti.The old friends of the Bureau of twenty-five years ago, who know of its strugglesand passion under the assaults of the successive favorites of the Secretary of Agriculturelif still living on that most unhappy day, should come to take a long and lingeringlook at the form of the crucified Bureau, which they will see no more forever. Andthose true and tried friends of the Bureau in its twenty-five years of endeavor tosecure a national food and drugs act, which it finally did on June 30th, 1906, comealso, and while remembering the great victory with joy, shed a tear for the old Bureauthat died on the 21st anniversary of the birth of that law. Yes, there is a corpusdelicti with no shadow of doubt. Orphaned and homeless that poor law will be.No one yet knows what sort of step-father it will have. Let us hope he will be kindto the poor waif.
In the following statements relating to the activitiesof the officials of the Department of Agriculture in securing these fundamental changesin the functions of administering the food law, there is a desire to emphasize thepoint that they are not of a personal character. The highest regard is felt for allthese officials. Some of them are personal friends. This makes their mistakes moreregretful.
The same remark applies to the Bureau of Soils.On the other hand, the Bureau of Soils, in respect to academic freedom in researchand publication, and in its bizarre and thoroughly unscientific theories and itsprincipal activities, has been from the start of a nature which has failed to commendit, both as to quality and character, to the great majority of scientific investigators.This disparagement does not affect the personnel of the Bureau, nor the late problemssubmitted to it.
In life insurance adjudication you have to provethe death of the insured. Can the death of the Bureau of Chemistry be established?The following quotations from the hearings before the appropriation committee consfderingthe agricultural bill for the fiscal year, 1928, are illuminating, and leave littledoubt of death.
The Chairman of the committee, in speaking ofthe Enabling Act, said:
Q. " I wish to take up now this new language, the 'enabling'paragraph. This is new language, is it not?"
A. " Yes, sir. The food and drugs act provides that examination of products subject to its jurisdiction shall be in the Bureau of Chemistry. Under the new arrangement the Bureau of Chemistry goes out of existence and is supplanted by this new organization, the food, drug, and insecticide administration."
The chairman also calls attention to the demiseof the Bureau of Chemistry in other parts of the report. He speaks of the "newBureau of Chemistry and Soils." In another place he mentions the appropriationsfor the proposed Bureau of Chemistry and Soils. In the next paragraph is found thefollowing statement:
" Under this appropriation we enforce the so-called pure food law which controls purity and freedom from misbranding of foods and medicines."
This is a,most appropriate designation. Underthe administration of the law as now conducted it is only a "so-called"pure food law. Its activities are confined chiefly to misbranding of foods and medicines.The real pure food law was designed principally to protect our foods from additionsof poisonous and deleterious substances, a feature which has been almost entirelyobliterated by the present administration of the law. No one could have found a moreappropriate qualifying phrase than that which is used above.
In another part of the hearings the Chairmanof the subcommittee asks:
"In other words, this is an appropriation for the enforcement of what is known as the pure food law?"
to which this reply was made:
"To insure freedom from misbranding of foods and drugs."
This answer confirms the present attitude ofthe food administration.
WHY WAS IT DONE?
It seems rather strange that after attentionhas been called to the fact that the law confides the examination of samples of foodsand drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry, the Congress of the United States should immediatelyproceed to destroy that organization. This accentuates the discussion of how theBureau of Chemistry was destroyed. Even granting that the Bureau wanted to be hangeddoes not legalize the crime. That may be an extenuating fact when the criminals aresentenced.
If it was a desirable thing to change so radicallythe instrumentalities of enforcing a law, it should have been brought before theCongress in a legitimate way. There was no reason why a bill should not have beendrawn making these changes and repealing the existing law. I am far from saying thatthere might not be a better method of enforcing the law than the present one. Infact, I do not think there could be a worse.
The promoters of the destruction of the Bureauof Chemistry took a desperate chance in their illegal attempt. They hoped that noone in the House of Representatives would kill their efforts by making a point oforder on this legislation on an appropriation bill. The bluff was not called. Nota member of the House objected. That the legislation could have been prevented byone member is shown by the following statement of Mr. Lehr Fess, the House Parliamentarian:
"In reply to your letter of January 10th (1928) 1 am writing to advise you that the item referred to was subject to a point of order at the time it was under consideration in the House. However, no question of order was raised. The question of order not having been raised at the time the matter was under consideration it can not be subsequently presented."
The Secretary of Agriculture in his report for1927 states on page 61 that:
"The Federal food and drugs act, designed to prevent the sale of adulterated or falsely labeled foods, drags, and feeding stuffs, is a benefit to consumers and producers alike. Through its enforcement the consumer may feel confident that the products he buys are what they are represented to be on the labels and the producer need fear no competition with low-grade goods masquerading as high-quality goods. Cooperation with the various industries in an effort to keep their products in conformity with the law and action against producers found guilty of deliberately adulterating or misbranding their goods were continued during the fiscal year just ended."
The Secretary seems to forget that strenuousefforts were made pending the time the bills were before Congress to insert the.word "knowingly" into the Act. All of these efforts were defeated. Forthis reason the dealer who unwittingly violates the law is just as guilty under thelaw as the one who knowingly and deliberately violates the law. The most destructivevice that has for many years been gnawing at the vitals of proper enforcement ofthe food law is the effort now making to protect the producer. There is no warrantfor this erroneous conception anywhere in the law. Every reference to the producerin the law is punitive.
Thus it is clearly seen that the chief activitiesof the present administration are proper branding. The purpose of the law as a healthprotector is of no importance whatever.
Mr. W. G. Campbell, Director of the RegulatoryService, justifies the abolition of the Bureau of Chemistry and the transfer of theRegulatory Service therefrom, in an article published in the American Food Journal,January, 1928, page 24:
"But no effective concerted action against adulterated and misbranded food was possible in the United States until the Federal Food and Drugs Act became a law in 1907, after some forty years of investigation and twenty years of agitation. The Bureau of Chemistry had framed it and actively endorsed. its passage for many years. Naturally enough, then, Congress entrusted its enforcement to this unit. * * *
"Whenever it became apparent that for lack of funds or shortage in personnel one of the two must be temporarily neglected it was usually the research work that gave way."
It was the regulatory work that was providedfor instead of. research. It was this condition of affairs which resulted in thedestruction of the Bureau of Chemistry and the creation of a new enforcement unit.This was exceedingly drastic action to change what Congress had established aftertwenty years of discussion in the open forum of the Senate and the House of Representatives.The cruelty of this punishment and its wickedness is indicated by the fact that itwas legislation grafted on an appropriation bill, the consideration of which waslimited to a few hours debate, with no hearings having been called on the proposedmeasure, and no opportunity given to any one opposing it to be heard.
To continue from Mr. Campbell's article:
"The work of administering the Food and Drugs Act has in no way been upset by the recent change in machinery."
If the work has not been upset nor changed inany way, why was it necessary to destroy a great bureau and transfer the enforcementof the act to an entirely new unit?
This is a sad story which will be discussed inanother place. In point of fact, at the very beginning successive attempts were madeto nullify this provision of the law, placing its enforcement in the Bureau of Chemistry.During the debates in Congress on food legislation, on numerous occasions attemptswere made to divorce the Bureau of Chemistry entirely from any part in the enforcementof the law. In every case the proposals made for this purpose were overwhelminglydefeated in both Houses of Congress. It was the plain intent of the law-makers, afterfull and free discussion, that its enforcement should be in the Bureau of Chemistry.The purpose now is to show that the present administration of the Food Law is entirelydifferent from that intended by Congress. The death of the Bureau of Chemistry isa clear case of mob violence. It was lynched.
The Secretary also refers to the fact that thisis the proper time to lynch the Bureau of Chemistry in the following statement:
"This is the logical time to make some changes which could not have been made before without hurting somebody or doing an injustice to somebody, which we did not want to do. But now we must get some new heads and if we effect this reorganization before these changes are made, they will work in with the new changes and we shall not have to work an injustice on anybody."
This means, of course, bringing in more headsof bureaus. There will have to be a head and subheads for the new Bureau of Chemistryand Soils, and there will have to be a new head for the Food and Drugs Administration.
INCORPORATION OF THE BUREAU OF SOILS
Secretary Jardine gave as an excuse for puttinga small fragment of the Bureau of Chemistry with the whole Bureau of Soils the followingpertinent reason:
"The Bureau of Soils itself needs to be revitalized. Everybody in this country that is working with soils realizes that."
Most truly said. But why does he want to putthe Bureau of Soils into the Bureau of Chemistry to be revitalized, while he takesout of the Bureau of Chemistry a food administration which is needing revitalizingmore than the Burean of Soils ever did?
The Secretary also has made another discoverywhich is most interesting. He states:
"Then in the Bureau of Chemistry we also have questions that are closely related to soils. Thirty years ago it was not so."
This statement would be interesting to Liebigand the founders of the Rothamsted Station in England, Lawes and Gilbert, a hundredyears ago; to the late Professor Hilgard, who made soils his specialty during hiswhole lifetime, and to Johnson, Hopkins, Snyder, and Goessmann in this country, Hallin England, Boussingault in France, and to those other chemists, too numerous tomention, who have for one hundred and fifty years regarded soils a peculiarly appropriatesubject for chemical investigation. One of the great faults of bureaucracy is to,claim long-known truths as its own discoveries. Before the Bureau of Soils was everthought of, the Bureau of Chemistry had developed a scientific investigation of soilson a strictly practical plan. It had brought samples of soils from all the differentstates and from the Rothamsted Station in England. These soils had been carefullyanalyzed by the most approved methods, had been placed in pots carried on railways.It had built a house to put them under cover when it rained or when it froze. Ithad carried on elaborate cultivations of the kinds of crops these soils producedunder a standard environment of moisture, temperature and sunlight. When the Bureauof Soils was organized the first thing it did was to demand the entire cessationof scientific soil investigation by the Bureau of Chemistry. The Secretary, at theinstigation of the Bureau of Soils, ordered the soils thus accumulated to be thrownout, the railway demolished and the building in which the soils were kept, razed.Data accumulated under several years of investigations were denied publication bythe Bureau of Soils. They still lie in the celebrated morgue of the Department ofAgriculture, mute witnesses of violence, with many others of their like, waitingfor Gabriel's trump. Surely the Bureau of Soils needs a "revitalization."It needs more a second birth!
PATERNALISM ON THE RAMPAGE
When the Appropriation Bill for 1928 reachedthe Senate, a luminous statement was made by Senator King of Utah in regard to it.Speaking of the bill he says (Congressional Record of January 4, 1927, Vol. 68, No.17, Page 1051):
"The pending bill reveals a parental care that will put to shame the Bolshevik or Soviet parentalism. of Russia. We are soon to have a Federal official in a Bureau or agency now created--and if not we will create one--for every activity of every individual. He will tell us when to wash our faces, how to clean our teeth, how to comb our hair, what kind of clothes we should wear, and how we shall determine the temperature. For every conceivable and inconceivable mutation of life we shall have the beneficial and blessed care of some functionary of the government. But let the merry dance go on! We are on the highway to Bureaucracy. Let Bureaucracy be crowned King and make the appropriations as much as may be desired, and they regret that they have not demanded more. So some of these little appropriations, for instance, like the Bureau of Mines, or the Biological Bureau, or the Bureau of Soils, soon become so powerful that they will want millions of dollars annually.
CRITIQUE OF THE BUREAU OF SOILS
Now let us see what happened in the committeehearings to the Bureau of Soils. The following question was asked:
"I want to know wherein the practical benefit is received by the ordinary farmer or by the agricultural interests of the nation from the chemical and physical investigations of this Bureau we are now discussing."
The business of the soil survey is to decide what is a soil. Nobody ever did that before. Unfortunately it seems even God Almighty did not do it."
The modesty of this answer is something overwhelming.It seems that the young man making the survey, who probably was not even broughtup on the farm, ~cam ride out in a Ford car and look over the fence at a field andtell more about it than God Almighty, who. created it, knows. This faculty of originaldiscovery of facts long known is not confined to the Bureau of Soils. It is alsocharacteristic of other Bureaus in other Departments.
Here is what the man in the Ford car finds out:
"We determine the nature of a soil. We determine the distribution of that soil wherever that soil is found. We determine the characteristics of that soil. We know then when the soil survey is carried out that here in a given place is a certain kind of soil and there is so much of it. We know the soil in terms of its characteristics, of its texture, for example, of its chemical composition. To be sure when I talk about chemical composition I cannot say that it has 2.39 per cent. of potash in it, rather than 2.37 per cent. of potash. It would take thousands of years to determine that; but I can say whether it has 2.39 per cent. of potash, or 1.5 per cent. of potash, or .65 per cent. of potash.
"Let us take Genesee County, New York. We send out two men into that area, usually with a Ford car, and they locate themselves in some spot in the center of the area to be surveyed. They go over every road in that county and examine the soil all along the road. I do not know that I could say accurately that they examine every foot of the soil in the county; but they go along the roads and also between the roads, so they can undertake to see all the land in the county and determine its characteristics. Two men will survey an average county containing 600 square miles in about six months."
It is thus seen that these two surveyors by drivingalong the roads in a Ford car (I suppose any other make of car would do just as well)determine all the characteristics of the soil down to the depth of ten feet, giveit a name, which is usually the local name of the vicinity, and furnish all the datato make a map of that county with apparently never having the benefit of a singlechemical or physical analysis of the soil. As in a field of fifty acres, outsideof the glacial region, there may be a dozen different types of soil, this is somefeat. Of course all these men must be trained agriculturists or else they could nottell the character of the subsoil to a depth of ten feet without having a sampleof it. If they had a sample they couldn't tell anything about its nature until theyhad a chemical and physical analysis thereof. They must have intellects of most unusualcharacter and training that few, even practical farmers, have had, to make thesenice distinctions. Their eyes, too, must have amazing powers of telopsis to see tenfeet below the surface. The striking thing about this is the vast amount of informationthe man in the Ford car gathers in about an hour and a half. So much more informationthan the Almighty possesses! If it would take thousands of years to tell whethera soil has 2.39 per cent of potash, rather than 2.37 per cent, the question arises,how many thousands of years would it take to get these other data?
Let me quote from another author about this omniscientscientist in the Ford car; (of course Goldsmith didn't know anything about soil-mapping):
"And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew
That one small head could carry all he knew."
But the wonder is not to be restricted. The witnessgoes on further:
"Now here we have that soil distributed so far. The same results can be effected on that soil wherever that soil is found."
This is most interesting information. Supposewe take any one of about a thousand varieties of soil that have been mapped. We findone particular soil in the northern part of Minnesota. The same soil is found inMissouri. That same soil is found in Florida. You can grow oranges and sugar caneon that soil found in Florida. According to the Bureau of Soils you can grow orangesand sugar cane on that soil in Missouri and in Northern Minnesota. Knowledge of soilis rapidly growing! This is emphasized by the rhyme:
"When the Sea rolled its fathomless billows
Across the broad plains of Nebraska,
When around the North Pole grew bananas and willows,
And mastadons fought with the fierce armadillos
For the pineapples grown in Alaska."
Speaking of the soil survey man it is stated:
"When his experiments have been carried out, when he obtains his result in the end--it may be a good long while, experiments are necessarily slow always, it takes a good long while to find them out,-but when he has found out that on a given soil certain results are obtained, then if the soil survey has done what it ought to do those same resulta can be effected on that same soil wherever that soil is found."
To this I may say that if the soil survey hasdone what it ought to do it would take several thousand years of experiment beforethere would be justification for publishing a single soil map.
The questioner did not seem to be quite convinced.He asked some other troublesome questions in regard to how all these data were obtained,and especially what the chemists were doing. He was informed:
"Well he (the chemist) assists. I am talking now of what he does in relation to the soil survey. He helps us to determine what the characteristics of soils are. You see in the soil survey we do not maintain laboratories because there are other laboratories and there is no use in duplicating.
Considering the intimate knowledge which is obtainedby the soil survey in a Ford, it is interesting to know how much ground is gone over.In answer to the question, How is your work progressing? thefollowing informationwas elicited:
"Very well; we are covering now, I cannot give you the exact figures in square miles, something like 25,000 to 30,000 square miles per year; possibly a little more than that. Two men will survey an average county containing 600 square miles in about six months.
Another embarrassing question was asked:
"I am talking about the maps. I want to know what practical use the people who get these soil surveys put them to."
He was told:
"Sometime ago I picked up a copy of Hoard's Dairyman, and in that Journal there were two photographs; one., a photograph of the roots of alfalfa grown on one soil type, and the other was a photograph of the roots of alfalfa grown on another soil type. I believe one lot was grown on bottom land and the other was grown on upland soil. Now let me stick a pin in it for a moment and go to another thing.
(The questioner.) "We will put a twenty-penny nail through it."
To this came the response, going one better:
"Or a railroad spike. The soil survey map shows the characteristics of the soil, not only on the surface, but down to a depth of, say, from six to ten feet. In other words, it shows the soil all the way down."
All this intimate information from 30,000 squaremiles a year! C'est magnifique!
Many questions were asked as to what benefitto the farmer came from the soil survey. It was the opinion of the Committee thatthe chief benefits that the farmer got from the soil maps was in the fact that theygave all the roads. The particular thing it wanted to know was what practical useihe people who get these soil maps put them to. The answer was that the county agentis really the man to interpret the maps. That may be true now, but when the mapswere first printed there were no county agents.
~ It finally developed that about 35 per centof the agricultural portion of the United States has been mapped. At this rate thesoil survey will last until about 1980. The number of different kinds of soils willbe nearly 3,000 and oranges will be growing in Alaska. The different types of soilswhich have already been given distinctive names are well up toward athousand.
A REAL SURVEY
While this so-called soil survey has been goingon now for nearly thirty years, costing, exclusive of the printing, approximatelyfive million dollars, another real survey and mapping has been made by the geologicalsurvey.
Numerous contour maps, showing the altitude andphysical characteristics of the soil, have been published. Now the geological surveyhas introduced aerial photography as a salient feature of the work. They do not simplylook at the fields from a Ford car. They show them as they are.
"The War Department cooperates with the geological survey in this useful work. Each photographic unit has an enlisted pilot and photographer and airplane. As to the area covered, the phenomenal extent of the Soil Bureau sinks into insignificance. One detachment in 1926 photographed 9,000 square miles. Another this year has assigned to it 8,000 square miles. Another unit has been assigned 4,000 square miles in Illinois and will then begin photographic work in Michigan and Wisconsin." (Science, August 19, 1927, page 165.)
There is a growing feeling that the whole systemof soil survey is a gigantic caricature of applied science; .in other words, it issimply "bunk." This feeling was a general one at the very beginning ofthe activities of the Bureau of Soils. It was not confined solely to the Soil Survey,but to the theories put out by the Bureau of Soils. Their famous Bulletin No. 22was vigorously assailed by the leading agricultural chemists of this country. Amongthese there was none of greater eminence than Professor Hilgard of the Universityof California. Dr. Hilgard says (Science, New Series, Vol. 18, No. 467, Dec.11th, 1903, page 755):
"Now the criterion usually applied to the relevancy of soil analyses is whether they will stand the test of agricultural practice. Judged by this test, both the ultimate analysis and that by distilled water are, equally, failures, according to Whitney's own testimony. But his conclusion is that since his method fails as a criterion of rich and poor soils, therefore the chemical composition of soils has no bearing upon the crop production; and that, therefore, the chief factor determining the yield is 'the physical condition of the soil under suitable conditions.'
" To this assertion 'non sequitur!' is the obvious flrst answer. * * *
"The recent enunciation of the Chief of the Bureau of Soils, while still maintaining the preferential claim for the physical properties of the soil, at least admits the importance of the functions of plant food; but claims that fertilization is unnecessary because the supply would be 'indefinitely maintained.' He in fact takes us back to the times of Jethro Tull and the Louis Weedon system of culture, which also presupposed the indefinite duration of productiveness; but signally failed to realize it when the test of even as much as twelve years came to be applied.
"In the foregoing discussion, only the salient points of the bulletin in question have been taken up, and their most obvious weaknesses briefly considered. To do more would involve the writing of a paper as long as the bulletin itself; and it is to be hoped that the matter will be taken up by others, also. Thus, for instance, Rothamsted Station might have something to say regarding the singular interpretation here put upon the splendid work of Lawes and Gilbert.
"In conclusion, it seems to the writer that the verdict upon the main theses put forward so confidently in this paper must be an emphatic 'Not proven!'"
Dr. A. D. Hall published in Nature, November9 1903, an article entitled "A New Theory of the Soil. I quote the following:
"Though Dr. Whitney's main argument is thus hardly tenable on his own showing, certain side issues are worth a little notice. Dealing with the action of fertilizers, he notices that, while the wheat crop on the best fertilized plot at Rothamsted averages about 33 bushels, on the plot which has been unmanured for sixty years it has fallen to 12 or 13 bushels. Yet on the similarly unmanured plot in the Agdell field, where the wheat is grown once every four years in rotation with roots, barley and clover or fallow, but little falling off is apparent. Hence he concludes that, in virtue of the rotation, the fertility of the Agdell field is unimpaired, whereas in the continuous wheat field 'the decrease can be ascribed only to some physical change in the soil, to some chemical change other than the actual loss of plant food taken up by the crops.' But when any other crop on the unmanured plots in Agdell field is considered, the decline in fertility is enormous; roots and clover only yield minimum crops; so far as they are concerned the cultivation of the soil involved in the rotation has been quite unable to maintain the fertility. The wheat, with its powerful root system, holds up better, but its production is falling steadily; it Is important to see how long it will be maintained, though it need never be expected to fall to the level of the continuous wheat, because the land is practically only cropped every other year.
"Suggestive as Dr. Whitney's memoir must be to all agricultural chemists, we thus do not consider that the main theory it propounds possesses any permanent value. We should be sorry if we have failed to appreciate the argument properly, but it, is not always easy to follow, the text being somewhat deficient in sequence and orderly arrangement; indeed, we are disposed to think that had the question been set out a little more nakedly at the outset, and the demonstration marshalled with more precision, a somewhat different conclusion would have been reached by the authors."
This array of soil chemical talent was joinedby Professor Hopkins of the University of Illinois, who published a serious attackupon the theories and practices of the Bureau of Soils. Professor Snyder of the ExperimentStation of Minnesota joined in this assault. The chemists of Cornell University alsolent their aid to combating these theories. No one of the unscientific theories ofthe Bureau of Soils was ever approved by the Association of Official AgriculturalChemists of the United States. These theories of soil fertility were all built uponthe sand and have long since passed away. Our young chemists, who are not acquaintedwith all these facts, would find it interesting to review the literature to whichI have just alluded. Professor Hilgard was constrained to ask the following questions:
"Is freedom of research restricted in the Department as respects soils, and is everybody in the Department required to believe in the theory of the Bureau of Soils or to express no opinion whatever in any official capacity? Is the right to use the soil for research purposes abridged in the Ddpartment of Agriculture, and if so, to what extent? Are the theories of the Bureau of Soils accepted by reputable authorities in this and other countries?"
The first and second questions he answered inthe affirmative. The third question he answers strongly in the negative.
A LONG WAIT FOR THE RECOVERY
More than thirty years have passed since theBureau of Soils was established, and since the Bureau of Chemistry was denied theprivilege of any further research in soils. Now the Bureau of Soils with all of itsunfortunate and unsavory history is combined with what little is left of the Bureauof Chemistry, both to be under a common head. May we hope that this head will notbelieve in any of the vagaries which have characterized the Bureau of Soils duringits long history, and may he be a man who will never raise his finger or his voiceto prevent ethical research in any branch of science pertaining to chemistry in allits ramifications, or to soils in all the innumerable varieties into which they havenow been divided.
AN UNFORTUNATE EXCHANGE
What has the Bureau of Chemistry given up? Ithas given up all it has acquired in its long and useful career. It has been denieda service to humanity which, if it had been rendered in the spirit of the law whichit represented, would have proved the greatest blessing to the health and welfareof a nation. A service of this kind is one in which no person informed in regardto the matters could have raised the question of cui bono so vigorously advancedin the hearings before the appropriation committee on the present Agricultural bill.Finally it has given its life. , We may ask: What would have happened in that Congressof 1906 if some one interested in adulterating foods had moved to abolish the Bureauof Chemistry? Outside of sympathizers with adulterators, it would not have receiveda single vote in either House or Senate. Those who engineered this legislation throughCongress have thus accomplished the crime in which their predecessors of twenty-oneyears ago so signally failed. Tempora mutantur et nos cum illis mutamus. Itwas a poor trade. It will take the new organization many years to live down the badreputation of one of its components. Let us hope that the influence of the new Bureauof Chemistry will cause a radical reform in its new spouse, which will make her unrecognizablein the near future. What kind of wife has it divorced in order to consummate thiscompanionate marriage?
Let the old Persian poet and philosopher, Omar,speak:
"You know, my friends, with what.a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse."
On the other hand, the new Bureau of Chemistryhas lost the opportunity of ever returning to the fundamental principles of the foodlaw which have been so thoroughly turned aside. Thus it can never regain the publicconfidence and enthusiastic support which the late Bureau merited by its leadinginfluence in securing the enactment of the Food and Drugs Law. The Bureau of Chemistryis dead. Those who lynched it should shudder when the people know all the facts ofthe murder. The plea of insanity will not avail.
ANTAGONISM BETWEEN RESEARCH AND PRACTICAL CHEMISTRY
The new Bureau is to conduct certain fundamentalresearches on the chemical composition of foods, and on the changes that take placein foods as the result of the action of micro-organisms. In regard to this transferthe following statement was made:
"That it is work that has heretofore been done under the food and drugs act appropriation. It is research of a rather fundamental type; although necessary for food and drugs act enforcement, it seems more logical to place that work in the Bureau of Chemistry and Soils."
This is rather an effort to suppress investigationsamong that class of chemists who are best suited to carry them on in so far as foodadministration is concerned. In many other places in the hearings and in the originalstatement of the Secretary of Agriculture this restriction of research is stressed.
Not only was the demise of the Bureau of Chemistrythus caused, but the chemical work is now transferred to another unit under the regulatorysystem where denial of research is plainly indicated.
The Secretary of Agriculture himself has justdiscovered the antagonism between research and practical chemistry. In the hearingshe made the following statement, after acknowledging that research and practicalchemistry had gone hand in hand up to the present time, and especially in the institutionwith which he was connected:
"Research work and regulatory work do not mix any more than water and oil. We just grew up that way and we have developed to a point now where we think the regulatory work ought to be in another department by itself, rather than being in with research. At the present time we have an opportunity to work out this consolidation.
It is evident that the legislation abolishingthe Bureau of Chemistry and establishing a new Bureau of Chemistry and Soils andtransferring the food activities to a new department in direct violation of existinglaw was a regrettable mistake. One of its purposes was the discouragement of researchby the chemists employed in the regulatory unit. This was a feature of great importanceto the force of the.old Bureau of Chemistry. In all matters of research those whoare studying these problems must be in direct contact with the problems themselves.This is particularly true of research in the problems relating to foods and drugs.If the problem is not before the research worker he would be up in the air all thetime as to what to do. The problem must be before the research chemist. He must havean opportunity to study all the relations of these problems to the industry itself;otherwise he would be groping blindly in his attempts to find out any new principleswhich are basic in the particular industry which he is examining. There is no branchof investigation that needs more research than is found in the problems which arisein the very numerous conditions springing from the new foods and drugs administration.
In Science of April 1, 1927, page 307,Professor Metcalf makes the following statement:
"We believe that every normal individual is born with some endowment of the research spirit--the inquiring mind given to trying to find out by exercise of its own powers. Normal children are full of natural curiosity and they have to a fair degree the habit of experimenting; that is, they are endowed with something of the research spirit.
"We believe that this mental habit of learning by self-reliant experiment should be conserved and strengthened from the beginning throughout life. We believe that all education, from pre-kindergarten age on through the university, should have this encouragement of the spirit and habit of research as a main object. We believe that no worth-while job in life can be done with proper effectiveness in any other spirit. We believe that, in all education, learning through self-reliant experiment and exercise of individual judgment should dominate and that the habit of stopping with faith in the printed statement in the textbook should be avoided as leading to fatty degeneration of the mind and soul. We believe that teaching should be conducted only by those who have the research attitude themselves and have ability to cultivate it in their pupils."
NO NEED FOR THIS RADICAL LEGISLATION
Dr. Browne, before accepting the position asChief of the Bureau, made it clearly known to the Secretary that he was not disposedto take any active part in the execution of the Food and Drugs Act. As Chief of theBureau he, of course, would sign all Bureau orders. He was promised that his wishesin this matter would be respected. In the report of the Chief of the Bureau of Chemistry,published September 1, 1926, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1926, Dr. Brownewas able to record the fact that his wish had finally been entirely realized. Hesays on page 21:
"A reorganization of the regulatory work involved in the enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act, the Tea Inspection Act, and the Naval Stores Act was effected during the year; all such work being placed under the immediate supervision of an assistant chief appointed for the purpose.
Dr. Browne had thus succeeded in securing hisfreedom from personal attention to the execution of the Food and Drugs Act whichhad long been his ambition and which had long been promised to him. The Bureau wasthen in the position he thought it ought to occupy and his duties were left untrammeledby any personal supervision of the enforcement activities. In the very next yearafter this very desirable condition of affairs was established, the amazing effortwas made--and a successful one--to separate entirely the regulatory work of the Foodand Drugs enforcement from the Bureau of Chemistry.
RADICAL CHANGE OF ATTITUDE
The present attitude of the Food and Drugs enforcementis well expressed by the Secretary of Agriculture in his report for 1926, page 91.In speaking of the Federal Food and Drugs Act, he says:
Progress was made in promoting the purity and truthful labeling of food and drugs through the enforcement of the Federal food and drugs act. This year is the twentieth anniversary of the enactment of the law. The department looks upon this act as a corrective measure rather than a punitive one and, in enforcing it, endeavors to render assistance to the industries in improving their products. * * * The educational methods followed by the Federal and State food officials have been effective both in.saving an industry from great losses and in enabling consumers to obtain an unobjectionable product. * * * It was found that the educational and regulatory campaigns had accomplished commendable results. Notwithstanding rather comprehensive sampling, no goods of last season's pack were found of a character warranting action under the Federal food and drugs act.
When individual concerns persist in violating the law, or when violations involve deliberate fraud either through adulteration or misbranding, the full penalties of the law are invoked to correct the trouble.
A careful study of the Food and Drugs Act showsthat there is no warrant in any one of its provisions for these dilatory tactics.Congress provided a period of six months in which manufacturers could study the meaningof the law. Now after twenty years the big business of flouting the law is stillencouraged. There are no corrective features in the law. Every section of this lawis directly or indirectly punitive. There is no clemency for ignorance or accident.There is no requirement that the offender has knowingly or willfully offended thelaw. An amendment to that effect was rejected when the bill was before Congress.There is no provision for inviting manufacturers to a conference except when theBureau of Chemistry has found that their products are either misbranded or adulterated.Then a hearing is accorded under the law on questions of fact.
The whole attitude of the enforcing officersis to postpone all punitive measures just as long as possible. They beg offendersto cease offending instead of bringing them before the Court and executing the lawas provided by the law itself. It was intended by Congress that these punitive featuresshould be enforced. The Secretary of Agriculture is directed by the law to transmitwithout delay the findings of the Bureau sent him to the Department of Justice,which is directed to bring action immediately. Where can the enforcing officerfind his authority for endless delay?
It is not at all strange that when the head of.adepartment, as has just been shown, chooses to depart from the methods of enforcementlaid down by the law to those which he claims through experience to have found tobe more effective, that his subalterns fall into the same state of mind. This wasshown particularly in the address of the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, Hon.R. W. Dunlap, of Ohio, before the Convention of the State Food and Drug officialsat Denver, in 1925. Mr. Dunlap as Food and Drug Commissioner of Ohio was a militantenforcer of law. It was hoped that one with his record would bring the spirit ofrigid enforcement into the Food Administration at Washington. This would replacethe theory which had grown up under the impression that the law was not made to beenforced but only to be used as an educational agent in bringing infractors to asense of their crimes. There was hope that at last we had come to the turning pointof the whole matter and that the Assistant Secretary would throw the whole weightof his experience and training on the side of strict law enforcement. Alas! it wasfirst at Denver, in 1925, that it was found that he had been infected by the sleepingsickness of educational procrastination as a dominant principle in law enforcement.The following quotation is from his address at Denver in 1925 (page 76, OfficialProceedings of the Twenty-ninth Annual Conference of the Association of Dairy, Foodand Drug Officials of the United States):
"No longer do you gefitlemen regard the total number of seizures accomplished or of criminal prosecutions instituted or the aggregate of fines collected as a measure of efficiency in enforcing the laws entrusted to your care. The broader view, I think, universally prevails that an enforcing official who as a result of his efforts can point to a trade within his jurisdiction intelligently and wholeheartedly complying with the law, thus insuring full protection to the purchasing public as well as fair and equitable competitive practices has done more to merit the confidence not only of the public which he protects but of the industry which he regulates than one who by virtue of threats of penalties and confiscation procures an unwilling compliance rather than the support of the law he is administering. * * * Through the adoption of this theory of control, costs of litigation have been eliminated and a constructive leadership maintained to the benefit of all concerned. * * * The Department, as many of you know, now carries on its food and drug law enforcement through the Bureau of Chemistry under an organized plan of procedure along very well defined lines, known as the project plan of work. Certain industries are investigated throughout the entire country for the purpose of determining what violations if any exist and then of taking appropriate steps toward their correction. By this means a uniformity of action against every member of an industry is insured and the maximum corrective effect is obtained through educational means, to be followed by punitive action in those cases where educational measures are ineffective."
Thus we find this militant state official whofought the whole array of adulterators and misbranders at the Denver Convention in1909 praising a method of enforcement of the Act which is not found anywhere in theAct nor by any possible construction of any of its features.
It may well be asked why after twenty years ofexperience manufacturers have still to be cited to kindergarten instruction as tothe meaning and purport of the Food Law? As a rule, manufacturers of foods are fullyinformed as to the requirements of the Food Law, both of the nation and of the state.If they are not so informed it is their own fault. There is no requirement that theseschools of instruction should be established and the money appropriated by Congressfor the enforcement of an Act be used for the purpose of instructing manufacturersas to their duties under the Act.
Mr. Paul Dunbar, head of the regulatory divisionin the Bureau of Chemistry, in a recent article in the Oil, Paint and Drug Reporterunder the head "Trade Warnings Issued," says:
"If, on the other hand, the infraction is one which appears to be the result of a misunderstanding and the ensuing damage to the public is not of such a character as to require immediate removal of the goods from the market, it is the practice of the bureau before initiating regulatory action to give notice to the trade, advising that on or after a certain date legal action under the food and drug act will be instituted if continued violations are encountered. Where the facts seem to warrant it such notice may be preceded by a public hearing at which interested parties are accorded opportunity for free discussion.
"Opinions may differ as to what types of violation are of such character as to require drastic action, and what may be tolerated for a time sufficient to give warning to the responsible manufacturer. * * *
"The decision as to what course shall be taken in any particular instance rests with the administrative officials of the Bureau of Chemistry in Washington or the Director of Regulatory Work. * * *
"Substantially the only thing the food and drugs act requires of a manufacturer is that his products be fit for use and that they be not labeled so as to deceive, mislead or defraud the purchaser. * * *
"It is the bureau's theory that more is to be accomplished by acting in an advisory capacity under such conditions as will insure legal products than by accumulating a record of successful prosecutions with attending flues turned into the Treasury of the United States."
Thus we see, through all the branches of foodenforcement activities, this laissez faire principle. There is no longer anyvirtue in applying the penalties prescribed by law. There is no longer any adulterationthat threatens health. Business must be preserved. Penalties were intended as aidsto reformation. They are not now to be inflicted except as a last resort. Such isthe regrettable condition into which law enforcement has fallen.
AN INTERESTING STORY OF COCA-COLA
Many other instances of softness in food-lawenforcement may be cited. Early in the history of the activities of the Bureau ofChemistry in its efforts to carry out the provisions of the food law evidence inrelation to the Coca-Cola habit, especially in the South, was procured. The characterof this evidence was sufficient to induce the enforcing officers to bring chargesagainst Coca-Cola under the Food and Drugs Act. A number of seizures of the goodsin transit was recommended and criminal charges against the manufacturers and dealerswere formulated. It was impossible to get any of these accusations endorsed by theBoard of Food and Drug Inspection. Finally the Bureau of Chemistry was ordered inwriting, over the signature of the Secretary, to cease its activities in trying tobring Coca-Cola to the bar of justice. A short time after this order was receivedMr. Seely, proprietor of an influential newspaper in Atlanta, paid the Bureau a visit.In the course of his conversation he asked why no case had ever been brought againstthe Coca-Cola corporation. In answer to this question he was shown the order of theSecretary of Agriculture, forbidding the Bureau of Chemistry from making furtherefforts in this line. He was greatly astonished that the Secretary of Agriculturehad thus interfered with the administration of justice. He immediately called onthe Secretary of Agriculture, and he entered a vigorous protest against the policyof the Department in protecting adulterators and misbranders of foods. He statedto the Secretary that unless this order was recalled he would publish all the detailsin the matter in his newspaper. The Secretary promptly recalled the order and directedthe Bureau to proceed with its activities. The officials of the Bureau desired tobring the case in the District of Columbia, as more convenient for the Governmentin assembling its evidence and experts. Two members of the Board of Food and DrugInspection were determined that the case should be brought in Chattanooga. In thelatter city the Coca-Cola Corporation had its chief bottling works. They also ownedlarge bodies of real estate, including the principal hotel. The whole environmentat Chattanooga was favorable to the Coca-Cola industry. The Department was put toa large expense to send its scientific officers so far away from the base. It wasequivalent even to trying the case in Atlanta, if that had been possible under thelaw.
The result of this trial, which was a long drawnout one, lasting over three weeks, is found in Notice of Judgment No. 1455. The casewas warmly contested. Experts testified on both sides and with the usual contradictorytestimony, which it is not advisable even to summarize here. When the evidence wascompleted, the attorneys of the defendant moved to dismiss the libel on the groundthat caffein, which was the chief injurious substance in Coca-Cola, was not an addedsubstance because it was mentioned in the original formula. The presiding judge,the Hon. E. T. Sanford, granted this motion, and the case was therefore dismissed.
The Department of Justice appealed the case tothe United States Circuit Court of Appeals of the sixth district. This court sustainedthe action of the court below. (Notice of Judgment No. 4032.) The Department of Justicethen appealed the case to the Supreme Court of the United States. The unanimous opinionof the Supreme Court held that the courts below erred in their decision, and thecase was remanded for a new trial. This action of the Supreme Court is detailed inNotice of Judgment No. 4801 issued Septem-her 18, 1917. The opinion of the SupremeCourt was written by Justice Charles E. Hughes. Justice Hughes' decision containedthe following principal points:
"The questions with respect to the charge of 'adulteration' are (1) whether the caffein in the article was an added ingredient within the meaning of the Act (section 7, subdivision 5) ; and if so (2) whether it was a poisonous or deleterious ingredient which might render the article injurious to health. The decisive ruling in the courts below resulted from a negative answer to the first question, * * * but it was concluded, as the claimant contended, that the caffein--even if it could be found by the jury to have the alleged effect--could not be deemed to be an 'added ingredient' for the reason that the article was a compound known and sold under its own distinctive name, of which caffein was a usual and normal constituent."
Justice Hughes discusses in considerable detailthe claims of the defendant and then continues as follows:
"Having these considerations in mind, we deem it to be clear that whatever difficulties there may be in construing the provision, the claimants' argument proves far too much. We are not now dealing with the question whether the caffein did, or might, render the article in question injurious; that is a separate inquiry. * * * We think an analysis of the statute shows such a construction of the provision to be inadmissible, * * * nor can we accept the view that the word 'added' should be taken as referring to the quantity of the ingredients used. It is added ingredient which the statute describes, not added quantity of the ingredient, although, of course, quantity may be highly important in determining whether the ingredient may render the article harmful, and experience in the use of ordinary articles of food may be of the greatest value in dealing with such questions of fact. * * * We can see no escape from the conclusion that it is an added ingredient within the meaning of the statute."
Justice Hughes also comments on the claim madeby the defendant that Coca-Cola was not a misbranding, but that it was a distinctivename, and he continues as follows:
"We are thus brought to the question whether if the names 'Coca' and 'Cola' were respectively descriptive, as the Government contends, a combination of the two names constituted a distinctive name within the protection of the proviso in case either of the described ingredients was absent. * * * In the present case we are of the opinion that it should not be said as a matter of law that the name was not primarily descriptive of a compound with coca and cola ingredients as charged. Nor is there basis for the conclusion that the designation had attained a secondary meaning as the name of a compound from which either cocoa or cola ingredients were known to be absent; the claimant has always insisted and now insists that its product contains both. But if the name was found to be descriptive, as charged, there was clearly a conflict of evidence with respect to the presence of any coca ingredient. We conclude that the court erred in directing a verdict on the second count.
"The judgment is reversed and the cause is remanded for further proceedings in conformity with this opinion."
The above decision of the Supreme Court, discussingas it did all the angles of a legal character, completely demolished the lines ofdefense established during the trial, having decided on both counts, first that caffeinwas an added substance, and second that Coca-Cola was a descriptive and not a distinctivename. The subsequent proceeding before the court must of necessity result in victoryon the part of the Government. It was a long while, however, before the case wascalled for retrial in harmony with the injunction of the Supreme Court.
The case was called in the District Court ofTennessee at Chattanooga on November 12, 1917. The defendants, otherwise known asthe claimants in the case, entered a plea of nolo contendere. On motion ofthe district attorney the court passed the following sentence:
"' Now, therefore, the premises considered, it is ordered, sentenced and adjudged by the court, now here, and His Honor, the district judge, by virtue of the power and authority in him vested, does hereby order, sentence and adjudge that the goods, wares and merchandise seized in this proceeding be, and the same are hereby forfeited to the United States, and that the said Coca-Cola Company pay all costs of this proceeding. And it is further ordered that the said goods, wares, or merchandise, seized herein, to wit, the forty barrels and twenty kegs of Coca-Cola, shall be released to the claimant upon said claimant paying the cost above adjudged and giving sufficient bond, conditioned that the product shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of contrary to the provisions of the Federal Food and Drugs Act, or the laws of any state, territory, district, or insular possessions of the United States."
Added to this decision is the following paragraph:
" It is further ordered, adjudged and decreed that the judgment of forfeiture shall not be binding upon the said Coca-Cola Company or its product, except as to this cause, and the particular goods seized herein, nor binding upon the claimant and its product as it shall relate to any other cause or proceeding of any kind or character."
This paragraph was evidently interpreted by thefood enforcement officials to forbid any further proceedings against the Coca-ColaCompany or its product on the part of the administrative authorities executing thefood law. In any case the answer is that it is not binding on anybody except theCoca-Cola Company and further that it did not estop the executive authorities enforcingthe food law from further proceedings against the Coca-Cola Company or any of itsproducts. No attempt was made by the executors of the food law to enforce the decreeof the courts by beginning action against Coca-Cola products every time they crosseda state line. Under the opinions of the Supreme Court such proceedings would havebeen uniformly successful. Owing to a lack of these proceedings the Coca-Cola Companyhas its stock now listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its sales have been enormouslyincreased, invading the North, as they previously invaded the South. The effectsof drinking caffein on an empty stomach and in a free state are far more dangerousthan drinking an equal quantity of caffein wrapped up with tannic acid in tea andcoffee. The threat to health and happiness of our people is reaching far greaterproportions due to this expansion of trade. The governors of the New York Exchangehave admitted the stock of the Coca-Cola Company, the products of which have beencondemned by a United States Court as both adulterated and misbranded. This balefulcondition could have been easily avoided if the enforcing officers had raised theirhands in protest against the further development of this business by seizing itsproducts and bringing criminal action against its manufacturers.
Another interesting story would have been clarifiedif the Supreme Court could have passed an opinion on the immunity granted the Coca-ColaCompany by the court.
THE PATHETIC STORY OF BLEACHED FLOUR
A further illustration of law enforcement negligenceis found in the bleached flour case. On or about April 11, 1910, the Lexington Milland Elevator Company shipped from Lexington, Nebraska to Castle, Missouri, a consignmentof six hundred twenty-five sacks of flour, labeled "L 48-1 pounds LexingtonCream XXXXX Fancy Patent. This flour is made of the finest quality hard wheat. LexingtonCream--Lexington, Neb.--Lexington Mill & Elevator Co."
In due course libel was filed against the said625 sacks of flour, charging that the product was adulterated and misbranded, andpraying seizure and condemnation of said flour. In due course the case was calledin the District Court of the United States in the Western Division of Missouri, byArba S. Van Valkenburgh, District Attorney. Fortunately, the United States was ableto secure as associate counsel for the prosecution of this case Mr. Pierce Butler,who assumed the principal rôle of the prosecuting officer, and is now an honoredAssociate Justice of the Supreme Court. Extensive testimony was given by experts,millers, wheat-growers, wheat-buyers, and other competent parties, both for and againstthe process of bleaching. The Honorable Smith McPherson acted as judge in the case.Judge McPherson in instructing the jury, used in part the following language (Noticeof Judgment No. 722, November 4, 1911):
"The flour seized in this case is an article of food within the meaning of the act of Congress. And if the treatment of the same by the Alsop process caused it to contain any added poisonous or other added deleterious ingredient of a kind or character which may render the same injurious to health, then it is adulterated and must be condemned.
"It is admitted that this flour was treated by the Alsop process for the purpose of bleaching or whitening, and the evidence establishes that nitrogen-peroxide gas was employed for that purpose and further establishes that that gas, nitrous acid, nitric acid, and nitrites of the kind which may be produced by such treatment are poisonous and deleterious substances, and that these substances when taken in sufficient quantities will produce poisonous action or death.
"It appears from the evidence in this case that the bleaching process imparts and adds to flour substances referred to in the testimony as nitrites or nitrite-reacting material, and such substances were imparted to the flour seized in this case by the bleaching process. It further appears from the evidence that such substances so imparted or added to this flour are qualitatively both poisonous and deleterious, that is to say, that these substances are of a poisonous and deleterious character.
"It is well known that wheat flour is not eaten raw. There is evidence in this case that tends to show that during the process of making bread nitrites or nitrite-reacting material contained in the flour is lessened and may be eliminated under some circumstances, but it is also well known that wheat flour is used for the making of other articles of food--biscuits, dumplings, pastry, cake, crackers, gravy, and perhaps other articles of food--which may be consumed by all classes of persons--the young, the old, the sick, the well, the weak, the strong; and I charge you that it is right for you in reaching your verdict to take these facts into consideration together with all the other proven facts and circunistances in the case.
"The fact that the Patent Office at Washington issued a patent for the Alsop process has nothing to do with the question of branding correctly, or misbranding of flour. The fact that the Patent Office issued a patent for the Alsop process does not warrant nor authorize the adulteration of flour as made by the Alsop process if it is adulterated. All these things must be put to one side, and your verdict must be determined in accordance with the law and facts in the case. It is of no importance to, you, nor is it of importance to me, who will be pleased or displeased in this case, whether of counsel or of the parties, or of any other person. The only question is, "What is the right, and what is the wrong of this case?"
Thereafter the jury returned verdicts as follows:
"We, the jury, find that the flour seized in this case is adulterated. (Signed, John W. Thomason, Foreman.) "
"We, the jury, find that the flour seized in this case is misbranded. (Signed, John W. Thomason, Foreman.)"
An appeal was taken from the decision of theCourt and the jury to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals of the Eighth District.On January 23, 1913, the case having come on for hearing before the Circuit Courtof Appeals, the judgment of the Court below was reversed, and the case remanded fora new trial. In reversing this verdict the Circuit Court said:
"The Court charged the jury: 'It is clear that it was intended by Congress to prohibit the adding to the food of any quantity of the prohibited substance. The fact that poisonous substances are to be found in the bodies of human beings, in.the air, in potable water, and in articles of food such as ham, bacon, fruits, certain vegetables and other articles does not justify the adding of the same or other poisonous substances to articles of food, such as flour, because the statute condemns the adding of poisonous substances. Therefore, the court chargeth you that the Government need not prove that this flour, or food stuffs made by the use of it, would injure the health of any consumer. It is the character, not the quantity of the added substance, if any, which is to determine this case.'
"The trial judge decided that if the added substance was qualitatively poisonous, although in fact added in such minute quantity as to be non-injurious to health, that it still fell under the ban of the statute; and the distinction is sought to be drawn between substances admittedly poisonous when administered in considerable quantities but which serve some beneficial purpose when administered in small amounts, and those substances which it is claimed never can benefit and which in large doses must injure. The distinction is refined. To apply it must presuppose that science has exhausted the entire field of investigation as to the effect upon the human body of these various substances . . . that nothing remains to be learned. Otherwise the court would be required to solemnly adjudge today that a certain substance is qualitatively poisonous because it can never serve a useful purpose in the human system only to have this conclusion made absurd by some new discovery. There is no warrant in the statute for such a strained construction. The object of the law was evidently (1) to insure to the purchaser that the article purchased was what it purported to be, and (2) to safeguard the public health by prohibiting the inclusion of any foreign ingredient deleterious to health. Hall-Baker Grain Co. v. United States (198 Fed. 614). The statute is to be read in the light of these objects, and the words 'injurious to health' must be given their natural meaning. It will be observed that this paragraph of the statute does not end with the words 'added deleterious ingredient,' but as a precaution against the idea embodied in the instruction complained of, it says 'which may render such article injurious to health.' Without these latter words, it might, with more force, be argued that deleterious and beneficent ingredients are to be divided into two general classes independent of that particular effect in the actual quantities administered, but the possibility of injury to health due to the added ingredient and in the quantity in which it is added is plainly made an essential element of the prohibition. The investigation does not stop with the consideration of the poisonous nature of the added substance. It is added to the article of food and the statute only prohibits it if it may render such article--the article of food--injurious to health.
"The judgment below must be reversed and the case remanded for a new trial, and it is so ordered."
(Notice of Judgment 2549, issued October 18, 1913.)
The Department of Justice immediately appealedfrom the decision of the Circuit Court to the Supreme Court of the United States.The case was called by the Supreme Court on February 24, 1914. The Supreme Courtconfirmed the decision of the Circuit Court below and remanded the case to the originalcourt for retrial. The decision of the Supreme Court was written by Mr. Justice Day,and was a unanimous decision. The Supreme Court made many luminous explanations inregard to the matter under consideration. The decision, among other things, states:
"The statute upon its face shows that the primary purpose of Congress was to prevent injury to the public health by 'the sale and transportation in interstate commerce of misbranded and adulterated foods. The legislation, as against misbranding, intended to make it possible that the consumer should know that an article purchased was what it purported to be; that it might be bought for what it really was and not upon misrepresentations as to character and quality. As against adulteration, the statute was intended to protect public health from possible injury by adding to articles of food consumption poisonous and deleterious substances which might render such article injurious to the health of consumers. If this purpose has been affected by claims and unambiguous language,, and the act is within the power of Congress, the only duty of the courts is to give it effect according to its terms. * * * Congress has here in this statute, with its penalties and forfeitures, definitely outlined its inhibition against a particular class of adulteration. * * *
"It is not required that the article of food containing added poisonous or other added deleterious ingredients must affect the public health, and it is not incumbent upon the Government, in order to make out a case, to establish that fact. The act has placed upon the Government the burden of establishing, in order to secure a verdict of condemnation under this statute, that the added poisonous or deleterious substances must be such as may render such article injurious to health. The word 'may' is here used in its ordinary and usual signification, there being nothing to show the intention of Congress to affix to it any other meaning. It is, says Webster, 'an auxiliary verb, qualifying the meaning of another verb by expressing ability, * * * contixgency or liability, or possibility or probability.' In thus describing the offense Congress doubtless took into consideration that flour may be used in many ways-in bread, cake, gravy, broth, etc. It may be consumed, when prepared as a food, by the strong and the weak, the old and the young, the well and the sick; and it is intended that if any flour, because of any added poisonous or other deleterious ingredient, may possibly injure the health of any of these, it shall come within the ban of the statute. (Notice of Judgment 3398.)
The above quotation, it will be observed, islargely based on the instructions given by the trial judge, the Honorable Smith McPherson,to a trial jury. The information, however, which it gives those who undertake toprove injury to health is of the highest significance. The Supreme Court of the UnitedStates says to those who enforce the law that it is not required "that the articleof food containing added poisonous or other added deleterious ingredients must affectthe public health, and it is not incumbent upon the Government, in order to makeout a case, to establish that fact." This iialicizing of this statement wasnot done by the Supreme Court, but by myself. I believe it is a very important statementmade by the Supreme Court in regard to the enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act.It was worth all the trouble and disappointment of having the decision of the bleachedflour case reversed in order to secure such a luminous explanation as the resultthereof.
When this case was decided the World War hadalready broken into flames over the whole continent of Europe. It was soon evidentthat the United States of America would eventually be drawn into this whirlpool ofdestruction. There is no wonder that all thought of bleached flour was forgottenin the excitement and activities which preceded our entrance into this great conflict.It was not until the contest was over and the victory had been won that any furtherprocedure was taken. It was not until April 1, 1919, that counsel for the governmentof the United States called the attention of the District Court of the Western Districtof Missouri to the fact that the mandate of the Supreme Court had never been putinto effect. Under the ruling of the Supreme Court the claimants for the 625 sacksof flour had had practically the whole foundation of their defense swept away. Theywere very glad, therefore, to make some arrangement with the District Attorney wherebythey could retire, not without laurels, from any further contest of this case. Tothis end they proposed that if one section of the libel would be dropped they wouldenter a plea of nolle contendere to the other parts of the libel. Accordingly,Francis M. Wilson, United States District Attorney, withdrew section e of the libelwhich reads as follows:
" (c) In that, by the treatment as aforesaid, the said flour has been caused to contain added poisonous, or other added deleterious ingredients, to wit: nitrites or nitric reacting material, nitrogen peroxide, nitrous acid, nitric acid, and other poisonous and deleterious substances, which may render said flour injurious to health."
Accordingly, the Court entered the followingverdict on the 9th day of, April, 1919:
"Now, therefore, it is ordered that the said amended libel be taken pro confesso; and the said cause coming on to be heard ex parte, and the court being fully advised, doth find all of the allegations of said amended libel herein are true.
"It is, therefore, ordered adjudged and decreed that the six hundred and twenty-five (625) sacks of flour, more or less, as aforesaid, be and the same are hereby condemned and forfeited to the United States, and the marshal of this court is hereby ordered and directed to proceed to confiscate a,nd utterly destroy all of said property, and to report to this court how he executed this order and decree.
"It is further ordered adjudged and decreed that the taxed costs of the libelant herein, and the taxed costs of the claimant, be paid by the claimant, Lexingtqn Mill and Elevator Company, said claimant in open court consenting thereto." (Notice of Judgment No. 6380.)
This famous case was ended April 9, 1919. Nonotice, however, was taken of this event by the executive officials of the Departmentof Agriculture, until July 31, 1920. On this date the following remarkable documentwas issued:
"Labeling Bleached Flour.
Department of Agriculture Announces Ruling on Bleached
Flour Under the Food and Drugs Act.
Washington, D. C., July 30, 1920-Bleached Flour coming within the jurisdiction of the Federal Food and Drugs Act is adulterated if the bleaching has reduced the quality and strength of the flour or concealed damage or inferiority, according to a statement issued to-day by the Bureau of Chemistry, United States Department of Agriculture, in answer to a number of inquiries regarding the attitude of the department on the bleaching of flour. Bleached flour may be shipped within the jurisdiction of the law only under the condition that the bleaching has not concealed inferiority or impaired the quality or strength of the article, and then only on condition that it is branded plainly to indicate that it has undergone a process of bleaching. Failure to label the containers to show that such -flour has been bleached will subject it to a charge of misbranding.
"The United States Supreme Court has ruled with reference to the section of the law relating to the addition of a poisonous or deleterious ingredient that to constitute an offense an article of food sold must, by the addition of an ingredient, be rendered injurious to health, and, furthermore , that all the circumstances must be examined to de termine whether the article of food has been rendered injurious. No action will be taken at the present time on the ground that bleaching introduces into the flour a substance which may be injurious to health, say the officials, provided as a result of bleaching there is not introduced into the flour such a quantity of the bleaching agent as may render it injurious as indicated in the decision of the Supreme Court. Should evidence later become available that the bleaching of flour introduces an ingredient in minute quantities which has the effect of rendering the article injurious to health, announcement of the fact will be made and appropriate action taken to prevent thereafter the shipment of bleached flour within the jurisdiction of the food and drugs act.
"Whether bleaching in any given shipment reduces the quality and strength of the flour or conceals damage or inferiority must be decided on the basis of the facts in each particular ease. "
In regard to this document I may say that itspurpose evidently was to open wide the opportunities for bleaching flour and thepromise that no action would be taken looking to a restriction of this process. Inpoint of fact no effort has ever been made directly or indirectly to take advantageof this victory before the court in considering bleached flour as both an adulteratedand misbranded article. The result is that the millers who at first were unwillingto indulge in bleaching have been forced to bleach in order to maintain their trade.This proclamation was properly interpreted by the bleachers. They knew its exactintent, that it was an open statement to the millers and the public that no furthersteps toward the control of this injurious and highly undesirable practice wouldbe taken in any way to restrict or hinder this practice. Nearly ten years have nowelapsed since this proclamation was made, and so far as bleaching flour is concernedby any process whatever the Food and Drugs Act does not exist. It seems indeed incrediblethat a food enforcement bureau of any kind, would read into the opinion of the SupremeCourt an entirely antagonistic statement respecting injury to health. The food enforcementofficers said you must convict the adulterator of injur~ng health. The Supreme Courtsaid it is not necessary on the part of the Government to bring any evidence lookingto the actual establishment of injury and it is not incumbent upon the Governmentto do this. All the Government has to do is to show the possibility in the most extremecase of doubt that such injury may take place. Thus the very law which the SupremeCourt has said was enacted chiefly to protect the public health has been turned intoa measure to threaten public health and to defraud the purchasers of flour.
GOING BACK TO BUSINESS PRACTICES
A more pointed illustration of how the administrationof the food law is gradually being transferred to manufacturers of food productsis found in a circular issued by the Department of Agriculture of September 302 1927,in regard to the floating of oysters. The title of this remarkable contribution is"New Jersey Oyster InduAtry Adopts Plan to Improve Oysters."
The "improvement" in oysters is tointroduce into them certain quantities of water which the old regulations in regardto oysters forbade. It calls attention to the fact that- the New Jersey shippersof oysters are dissatisfied with governmental rulings respecting excessive quantitiesof added water. Different regulations permitting the addition of water have beenunanimously adopted by the New Jersq dealers. This action on the part of the NewJersey dealers was taken as a result of an old ruling of the Department of Agriculturefor preventing shipment into interstate commerce of oysters floated in water lesssalty than that in which they were grown. The circular says:
"It developed that the aims of the oystermen and of the department were in harmony, namely, the production of the best oysters possible for the market in accordance with good commercial practices, and in which are incorporated no greater quantities of added water than are necessary, it being recognized that in the commercial cleansing of oysters for the market a small amount of water is necessarily incorporated. * * *
"The desire of the oystermen to place on the market only oysters of the highest grade is shown by their proposal to arrange for scientific investigations of the habits and characteristics of the oyster, with a view to obtaining the knowledge necessary to a final determination of the best procedure to insure the best oysters for the market, and desirable methods for obtaining the cleanest oysters with a minimum amount of added water."
Here is a great industry which had been savedfrom practical destruction by the original ruling of the Department that no waterof any kind should be added to oysters in shipment or otherwise, and that the icewhich kept them cold in shipment should be placed on the outside of water-tight tinboxes in which the oysters were carried. It is not true that any washing of oystersis necessary in preparing them for market. The only purpose of the washing is tointroduce additional quantities of water which will make the oysters swell and lookbigger and fatter than they are.
This is a complete surrendering to the industryof the task of making rules and regulations for conducting this industry, not inthe interest of the consumer but in the interest of the producer. It marks an entirereversa in ese matters. The Food and Drugs Act was based on commercial practiceswhich were detrimental and injurious to the consuming public. If the oyster industryis permitted to make its own regulations and its own scientific investigations thereis no reason to doubt that all other industries will in the near future be accordedthe same privilege.
A few years ago I was waiting to buy a ticketfrom New York to Boston. When the man in front of me bought his ticket and turnedaround, he recognized me and asked: "Are you Dr. Wiley?" I said I was.He said: "A few years ago I was the president of the Long Island Oyster Association.We regarded you as the arch-enemy of our industry when under your direction the rulingwas issued that we should not add water to oysters that we shipped, nor place icein contact with the oysters that we shipped. We considered you a devil incarnate.Now we know that decision was the salvation of our industry and I want to take yourhand and congratulate you on doing the greatest service to the oyster industry thatcould possibly have been done. We are selling a dozen times as many oysters now ina perfect condition as they come from the water as we did at the time of your ruling.
ATTITUDE OF THE CHIEF OF THE FOOD, DRUGS
AND INSECTICIDE, ADMINISTRATION
Mr. W. G. Campbell, the new chief of the foodenforcement unit, having succeeded the former Bureau of Chemistry, recently said:
"Respect for the law can be maintained only when there is a full realization on the part of those who are regulated that disregard of its provisions will be promptly followed by legal action."
This is a concise and perfect statement of thepurpose of the Food Law. Not only is it the duty of the officials to enforce theseprovisions, but the law itself states there shall be no delay.
It seems quite impossible to reconcile this statementof the Director of the Regulatory Service with the following one:
"While the food and drugs act remains what it has always been, a statute of protection primarily in character, but corrective rather than punitive, a course established to meet the conditions of two decades ago will be inadequate as a present day plan."
Here it is stated that a new "course"has been established, yet no change has been made in the punitive provisions of theold law. Only the enforcing bureau has been changed and a new bureau put in its placeby legislation illegally engrafted on an appropriation bill. The only conclusionto be drawn from this statement is that a new law has been established by the enforcingofficers without the aid of Congress and without any opportunity of discussing itsprinciples.
In further justification of this new law Mr.Campbell says:
"With the change in the attitude of the industry, the Bure;u of Chemistry had more and more as years passed by adopted 'an advisory before the act' attitude in dealing with individuals shipping commodities subject to the law, and that attitude will unquestionably continue to be the keynote of the Food, Drug and Insecticide Administration."
This remarkable statement, coming from the chiefof the new Regulatory Unit, proclaims to the world that the chief function hereafterwill be the education of those who disobey the act in an effort voluntarily to getthem to desist. In other words, the punitive features of the law, which are the onlyones in the law, are to be neglected for the sake of the corrective activities establishedby the enforcing officers.
Continuing the quotation, Mr. Campbell says:
"At the time the agitation for the enactment of the Federal measure had its inception the number of food and drug manufacturers whose conception of business ethics was tersely. 'let the buyer beware' constituted at least a very imposing minority. Today enforcing officials will be unanimous in expressing the conviction that deliberate violations in the distribution of foods and drugs are extremely rare. This change in attitude of the industry during the past two decades has made it possible, therefore, in a large measure to recast the methods of law enforcement so as to emphasize the corrective features of the food and drugs act rather than the punitive side of the measure."
This statement concisely expresses the completeparalysis of the food law. It is to be recast without appeal to Congress. There isnothing in the food law about corrective measures. These corrective measures haVebeen at the instigation of the food officials without any warrant whatever from legislation.The food law is exclusively punitive, and this construction of it has been approvedmore than once by the Supreme Court of the United States. Why then should officialswho have taken an oath to support the Constitution and the laws made thereunder,read into the law as its chief feature a meaning absolutely foreign to its purpose?The Bureau of Chemistry as constituted at the time of enforcement of the act wassolely concerned in enforcing its punitive regulations. It did not conSider it advisableto waste energy from its sworn duty in setting up a kindergarten or Sunday,Schoolto persuade violators of the law to desist. The law pointed out exactly what it shoulddo, and for a short time only was this purpose of the law carried out. There is nowonder that the administration of the food law has so hopelessly broken down. Itwould be a matter of interest if those enforcing the food law would take a littletime off and read the law carefully once more in order that they might see what theirduties really are.
The Moss Committee, on page 5 of their report,after citing all the difficulties placed in the path of the Bureau of Chemistry inits efforts to execute the law, says:
"Thus the administration of the law began with a policy of negotiation and compromise between the Secretary and the purveyers of our national food supplies. * * *
"It was a matter for profound congratulation that the great body of American citizenship yielded prompt and willing obedience to the law, and to such it was only required that the terms of the law be fully explained. The necessary readjustment of their business required time, and it was good administration to grant reasonable opportunity for such a purpose."
At the present time there is no manufacturerof foods in this country who does not understand that he is to tell the truth onhis labels and to add no substances injurious to health to his food products. Althoughthe use of various injurious agents has been permitted by the perversions of thelaw, practically the use of such preservatives as benzoate of soda and borax is todayunknown. There is no need, therefore, of any further education or persuasion of foodmanufacturer§ to obey the law. What is needed now is to brush away all the illegalrestrictions which were fastened round the Bureau of Chemistry, and to execute thelaw as it was written, and as it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court in the case of the United Statesvs. Morgan et al. in a decision handed down December ill 1911, made this pregnantremark:
"Repeals by implication are not favored, and there is certainly no presumption that a law passed in the interest of the public health was to hamper district attorneys, curtail the powers of grand juries or make them, with evidence in hand, halt in their investigation and await the action of the department. To graft such an exception upon the criminal law would require a clear and unambiguous expression of the legislative will."
The above is a hard blow to a repeal by illegallyabolishing the Bureau of Chemistry.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER
An endeavor has been made in the preceding pagesto set down the facts relating to the amazing crime of perverting the Food and DrugsAct of 1906 and destroying.the Bureau of Chemistry. The leit motif has been onlyto tell the truth. Sometimes telling the truth is not wise. If, however, one tellsanything it should be the truth. The common adage says that speech is silver andsilence is gold. These efforts, therefore, may be considered as an essay on freesilver. In these concluding pages the purpose is to summarize the main points, andto show the way to the new era.
ILLEGAL FOOD AND DRUG DECISIONS
All of the decisions of the Board of Food andDrug Inspection were illegal. It was not provided for in the Act and the plain purposeof its organization was to prevent the Bureau of Chemistry from carrying out theprovisions of the law. Theoretically all of the decisions should be repealed. Manyof them were in strict accordance with the terms of the law, and therefore are notnecessarily to be deleted. The following numbered decisions are in strict violationof the law, and the first step toward clearing the atmosphere and restoring the FoodLaw 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; otherswere signed by the members of the Cabinet directed by law to make rules and regulationsfor carrying the law into effect. Whenever the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretaryof the Treasury, and the Secretary of Commerce and Labor signed a Food InspectionDecision, it became a rule and regulation. Rules and regulations not for the purposeof carrying the law into effect were illegal. The three secretaries had no warrantof law to decide what was or was not adulterated or misbranded.
The numbers of these decisions which should immediatelybe repealed are as follows:
No. 76. Pertaining to dyes, chemicals and preservatives in foods.
No. 77 ;Certificate and control of dyes permissible forcoloring foods and foodstuffs.
No. 86. Original packages: Interpretation of regulation 2 ofRules 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, relatingto 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 theReferee Board.
No. 108. Importation of Coffee.
No. 113. Labeling of Whisky Mixtures and Imitations ThereofUnder 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 Labelingof 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 Decisionswill clear the way for the remaining steps.
The most important of these remaining steps isto repeal the permission given by the Remsen Board of Consulting Scientific Expertsto add alum, benzoate of soda, saccharin and sulphur dioxide to our foods.
From the earliest days of food regulation theuse of alum in foods has been condemned. It is universally acknowledged as a poisonousand deleterious substance in all countries. The United States is the only countrywhich permits, of course illegally, the addition of alum to our food supply.
The next most important step is to secure fromthe officials enforcing the Food and Drugs Act a recognition of the actions of thecourts under the operation of the Food and Drugs Act in convicting the manufacturersof bleached flour and Coco-Cola. In all these cases judgments of the Court condemningthe use of all these substances were secured, but in no case was any -effort evermade by the enforcing officers to follow up the, Court decision. By reason of thisfact interstate commerce in foods containing bleached flour, benzoate of soda, sulphurdioxide 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 ofour people is constantly threatened by the -use of these articles in our food.
The next step in the reform of the executionof 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 ofthe fact that they are not following out the punitive sections of the law, but itscorrective sections. Unfortunately for those who make this plea, the law containsno corrective measure except by punishment. It is a new law enacted by the officialsthemselves without authority of Congress which they are enforcing.
The final step to complete the restoration ofthe law is the repeal of the provision in the appropriation bill abolishing the Bureauof Chemistry and the restoration of the execution of the law to the revivified Bureau.
This is the only amende honorable that couldpossibly be made for the destruction of the Bureau of Chemistry and the transferof its authority by an item engrafted ,on an appropriation bill. It may be that thepresent arrangement is much better than that enacted by Congress. It would be entirelyproper, therefore, after this restoration is made, to introduce a new bill into theCongress of the United States, providing for the destruction of the Bureau of Chemistryand the transfer of its authority to the present unit in the Secretary's office.
No attack has been made upon the provisions ofthe law. They remain exactly as Congress enacted them. It is, therefore, the dutyof the present administrative unit to urge the abolition of all these illegal restrictionson their authority and to proceed with all vigor to the execution of the provisionsof the law as they were enacted on June 30, 1906.
EFFECT OF "THE, JUNGLE"
There is every reason to believe that Upton
If the Bureau of Chemistry had been permittedto enforce the law as it was written'and as it tried to do, what would have beenthe condition, now? No food product in our country would have any trace of benzoieacid, sulphurous acid or sulphites, or any alum or saccharin, save for medicinalpurposes. No soft drink would contain any caffein, or theobromine. No bleached flourwould enter interstate commerce. Our foods and drugs would be wholly without anyform of adulteration and misbranding. The health of our people would be vastly improvedand their life greatly extended. The manufacturers of our food supply, and especiallythe millers, would devote their energies to improving the public health and promotinghappiness in every home by the production of whole ground, unbolted cereal floursand meals.
The resistance of our people to infectious diseaseswould be greatly increased by a vastly improved and more wholesome diet. Our examplewould be followed by the civilized world and thus bring to the whole universe thebenefits which our own people had received.
We would have been spared the ignominy and disgraceof great scientific men bending their efforts to defeat the purpose of one of thegreatest laws ever enacted for the protection of the public welfare. Eminent officialsof our Government would have escaped the indignation of outraged public opinion becausethey. permitted and encouraged these frauds on the public. The cause of a wholesomediet 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.