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fectionery and drugs, may be seen by consulting the text of the law, which is given in full in the Appendix at the back of this book (Appendix A).
Notes on the Federal Law and the Rules and Regulations for
its Enforcement Since in the chapters which follow there may be frequent occasion to refer to decisions which have been rendered or standards which have been established under the National law, it will be advantageous at this point to refer to some of its more prominent features and to the provisions for its interpretation and enforcement.
Scope of the law. The direct objective of the law is the prevention of interstate or foreign commerce in adulterated or misbranded foods (and drugs). On account of the limitations placed by the Constitution upon Federal legislation of this sort the law can directly prohibit the manufacture of adulterated or misbranded food only in the District of Columbia, or the Territories. Indirectly, however, the manufacture of such food on a large scale anywhere in the country can be made difficult if not impracticable through the control of interstate and foreign commerce. Food manufactured and sold exclusively within the borders of any one state is subject only to state or municipal control, but any lot or package of food which passes from one state to another is subject to the provisions of the National law. Moreover, in all such interstate transactions in food products both the consignor and the consignee are liable unless one of them assumes complete liability under the provisions of the law. Often a shipment of food is seized and the prosecution is brought against the goods, the interested parties being given opportunity to appear as claimants and answer the charge of adulteration or misbranding.
Rules and Regulations. The law makes it the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the
Secretary of Commerce to formulate uniform Rules and Regulations for the carrying out of its provisions. As already men
. tioned, most of the provisions and definitions in the law are general in character. It therefore became necessary for the three Secretaries, in drawing up Rules and Regulations, not only to provide a plan for the collection and examination of samples but also to interpret many of the definitions of adulteration and misbranding.
The Rules and Regulations adopted by the Secretaries are given either in full or in abstract at the back of this book (Appendix A).
These Rules and Regulations are of course subject to review by the courts and they do not have the force and effect of law except in so far as they interpret the law correctly. They are, however, of great importance as constituting the working basis for the enforcement of the law and are frequently quoted.
Food Inspection Decisions. The actual administration of the law and of the Rules and Regulations is the duty of the Secretary of Agriculture. Notwithstanding the adoption of the Rules and Regulations, several questions of interpretation requiring decision by the administrative officers have arisen.
These decisions are published from the Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, in a series of numbered leaflets called Food Inspection Decisions (F. I. D.).
A few of these decisions have been signed by the three Secretaries and are practically amendments of the Rules and Regulations. In most cases, however, the “decisions” simply declarations of the attitude of the Department of Agriculture.
Such decisions of administrative officers must not be confused with the decisions reached by the courts. The latter are found under Notices of Judgment (see below).
Many of the Food Inspection Decisions will be quoted in later chapters in the discussion of the particular types of food
to which they relate. Those of more general scope will be found at the back of this book (Appendix A).
Collection of samples. Samples are collected only by authorized agents of the Department of Agriculture or by some health, food, or drug officer commissioned by the Secretary of Agriculture for this purpose. The collectors must purchase representative samples. Samples purchased in bulk are divided into three parts; when in the original unbroken packages three such packages are usually taken. One of the three samples is delivered to the chemist or examiner and two are held under seal by the Secretary of Agriculture, who, upon request, will deliver one of such samples to the party or parties interested.
Examinations or analyses of samples are made in the laboratories of the Bureau of Chemistry of the Department of Agriculture or under its direction and supervision. Unless otherwise directed by the Secretary of Agriculture, foods are analyzed by the methods of the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, and drugs by the methods of the United States Pharmacopæia.
Standards of purity. The Pharmacopæia gives standards of purity for drugs along with the methods of analysis. The methods of analysis of the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists do not provide corresponding standards, but the Department of Agriculture has from time to time published definitions and standards" as a guide for the officials of this department in enforcing the Food and Drugs Act.” The standards current at time of writing (1923) are published as Circular 136, Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, and in supplementary Food Inspection Decisions.
The present practice of the Department of Agriculture is to publish for the guidance of its officials the definitions and standards adopted from time to time by the Joint Committee on Definitions and Standards, composed of representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture, the Association of
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American Dairy, Food, and Drug Officials, and the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists.
The food officials of the different states are also apt to govern their decisions by these standards unless some other standard is provided for by state law.
These standards, therefore, carry considerable weight and will be considered in connection with the discussions of the composition of food materials in the chapters which follow. They are variously designated as “ United States Standards,” ernment Standards," "Federal Standards," Department of Agriculture Standards," or "A. O. A. C. Standards." The latter term was originally the more accurate since these standards for foods, while often cited in Federal prosecutions, are not established by law nor referred to in the Rules and Regulations, but originally represented the action only of the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (A. O. A. C.). Since the establishment of the Joint Standards Committee on which the Department of Agriculture is officially represented, and the official publication of the standards by the Secretary of Agriculture for the guidance of officials of that Department in enforcing the Federal law, the familiar designation United States Standard or Federal Standard appears to be justified.
In connection with the enforcement of the Federal law and of the laws of many of the states, the strict legal status of these standards is only that of expert testimony, but their actual weight is much greater than that of the testimony of an individual expert. In some states these or similar standards have been written into the law itself and it has been proposed that the Federal law be amended to include such standards.
The present tendency, however, seems to be away from the incorporation of "numerical standards" or limits of composition of foods into the text of the law or even of the regulations.
With or without the guidance of quantitative standards of composition, the Bureau of Chemistry examines each sample
submitted by the official inspectors and reports to the Department of Agriculture as to whether or not such sample is adulterated or misbranded.
Hearings. When the examination or analysis indicates that a sample is adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of the law, notice is sent to the party or parties responsible for the food and opportunity is given for a hearing. These hearings are confined to questions of fact (as distinguished from questions of law). The interested parties may appear in person or by attorney and may submit evidence to show any fault or error in the findings of the analyst or examiner.
Prosecutions. If, after a hearing, it appears that a violation of the law has been committed, the Secretary of Agriculture reports the case to the Department of Justice for prosecution, and action is brought by the proper United States attorney, the cases being tried in the Federal courts.
Notices of Judgment. After a judgment of the court has been rendered, the findings are published in such form as the Secretary of Agriculture may direct. These notices are numbered in series and designated as Notices of Judgment (N. J.). Up to the beginning of January, 1924, when the law had been seventeen years in effect, there had been issued from the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture 11,750 such Notices of Judgment. Of these cases more than nine tenths had been decided favorably to the Government. If an appeal is taken from the judgment of the court before the publication of the Notice of Judgment, notice of the appeal must accompany the publication.
Definitions of adulteration and misbranding. The types of adulteration and misbranding recognized by the law were summarized above and their exact definition may be seen from the text of the law. Some types of adulteration and misbranding can be demonstrated directly, while others are detected through the fact that analysis shows the article to be of inferior composition. The latter cases require the acceptance of some