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The Department has not submitted to you an idealistic measure. On the contrary, we are convinced that we have presented for consideration a thoroughly practical, enforceable measure that is essential if we are to be expected to afford real consumer protection. The bill has been drawn, I understand, in such a way as to preserve to the greatest extent possible the language of the present statute and the effect of appellate decisions made during the past quarter of a century. In addition to preserving the worthy features of the present law, the bill proposes a number of changes in enforcement powers and policies, including these:
Cosmetics are brought within the scope of the statute;
Mechanical devices, offered for curative purposes, and devices and preparations claimed to bring about changes in the structure of the body are included within the purview of the bill;
False advertising of foods, drugs, and cosmetics is prohibited;
A drug which is, or may be, dangerous to health under the conditions of use prescribed in its labeling is classed as adulterated;
The promulgation of definitions and standards for foods, which will have the force and effect of law, subject, of course, to court review, is prescribed;
The prohibition of added poisons in foods or the establishment of safe tolerances therefor is provided for;
The operation of factories under Federal permit is prescribed where protection of the public health cannot otherwise be effected;
More effective methods for the control of false labeling and advertising of drug products are provided; and
More severe penalties, as well as injunctions in the case of repeated offenses, are prescribed.
I think it is generally understood that this bill is intended primarily to protect consumers. At the same time it should operate in the interest of all honest manufacturers.
Agriculture has special reasons for favoring it. Farmers are interested as producers and users of food, as extensive users of package medicines, and as almost exclusive users of veterinary medicines and stock feeds. Agriculture is interested in any measure that helps the consumer obtain food which is unadulterated and honestly represented.
Since this bill was introduced in the closing days of the last session of Congress, the Department has received thousands of letters about it some from consumers who approved it as it now stands; some from physicians and others who feel that it does not go nearly far enough in providing protection; and some from interested manufacturers who have much fault to find with specific provisions. But if the Department has received a single communication that disagrees with the intent of the bill, with its broad principles, I have not seen it. I should like to repeat that I endorse this bill for the Department. I know that our representatives who are familiar with its every aspect will be glad to give you any information which may be useful to you. Mr. Campbell and others of the Food and Drug Administration will remain here for whatever testimony you wish to receive from them. I would like to offer these general observations growing out of my previous connection with the publishing and advertising business: It is my observation, based on past experience, and to some extent on more recent contact with the broader minded advertising and pub
lishing people, that they take the view that there is so much consumer purchasing power centering around a given publication; that is, so much purchasing power possessed by the readers of a given publication, if that purchasing power is soaked up by expenditures for things which are harmful to the readers, there is that much less money to be spent for the things that are worthwhile to the readers, and there is that much less efficiency on the part of the readers of that publication.
I say that the broader minded people in the field of publication and advertising, in my opinion, are ready to take that broad general fundamentally sound social point of view. I am not speaking, as you can well understand, in any representative capacity for these people. I want that to be clearly understood. But because of my previous contact before coming to Washington on March 4 last, I want to give that as my impression of the attitude of the broader gaged people of the publishing and advertising business. One gentleman particularly has informed me that that was his attitude.
Now, that does not mean-for fear I may represent these peoplethat they are in complete harmony with every detail of the bill. They have suggested certain things that they would like to see changed; but it does mean that they stand on that broad, social principle to which it seems to me no broad-gaged person can take exception, that advertising should be safeguarded.
Now, it is true that as long as advertising is allowed to go as it is, with even the people in the advertising business who have the highest ideals in the world, seeing this "chiseling" coming in from a great many sources, that that tends to lower their standards; and for that reason it seems to me that the advertising people themselves should be most happy to have some standard to which advertising can be referred.
Senator COPELAND. We are very much obliged to you, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary Wallace has suggested that Mr. Walter G. Campbell, Chief of the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Agriculture, be permitted to present an explanation of the pending bill in detail. Mr. Campbell.
STATEMENT OF WALTER G. CAMPBELL, CHIEF, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. Chairman, we in the Department of Agriculture would have preferred, for sentimental and other reasons, to have had this bill appear as an amendment to the Food and Drugs Act instead of a measure to supplant that law.
May I say that in the framing of this bill there was no sense of abandonment at all of the present act. There is an ample realization of the benefits that the present Food and Drugs Act has conferred upon society. It is a statute that was passed for the protection of the consumer. As the Secretary of Agriculture has said, it incidentally protects the honest manuacturer; but that bill, like most legislation, was a compromise measure; it represented not everything that the proponents of the law wanted, and carried more than the opponents of the measure were willing to give.
Twenty-seven years of experience in the enforcement of that act has demonstrated adequately and emphatically its limitations for proper protectoin of the public. In the draft of the pending bill there has been an attempt made to preserve all of the worthy qualities and features of the existing law and to supplement it in those instances where weaknesses have been indicated by court decisions and by actual experience.
As an illustration of one of the most pronounced limitations of the existing act, I call your attention, Mr. Chairman, to section 8 of the law, which states that no product shall be deemed to be adulterated, or misbranded, if it does not contain an added poisonous, deleterious ingredient; provided it is plainly labeled, branded, or tagged, so as to indicate that it is a compound, imitation, or blend.
It also makes an exemption, in the case of articles which may be from time to time sold under their own distinctive names.
Here is a product labeled "Bred Spred", which has the appearance of a preserve. Investigation of the retail market showed that it was actually sold as a preserve or as a jam, but it contains less than one half the amount of fruit required by the standard recognized by the Department for such products. The sale to the public of an article of this sort, bearing in mind that the most expensive ingredient in jams and preserves is the fruit content, is obviously a fraud upon the public. To the extent that such products can be prepared and sold, containing less than one half the amount of fruit expected by the purchaser, used by manufacturers generally and established as a trade custom, it likewise deprives the farmer of a legitimate market for his fruit.
Compare the article marked as "Bred Spred" with this standard jam or preserve, which contains the full 45 percent of fruit required. Their appearance is identical. They are sold in glass containers which characterize this class of products; and I submit to you that the consumer, even though a discriminating buyer, in almost every instance would be perfectly willing to accept either as a pure preserve. As a matter of fact, the price for which the article known under the distinctive name "Bred Spred" was sold, was only slightly less than that of the product sold under the label of pure preserves.
This bill S. 1944 as framed eliminates that objectionable provision of the act which makes it possible, by the employment of some fanciful designation like the term "Bred Spred" to market a product under the legal assurance that it will be subject to none of the prohibitions of the act as applied to all types of foods and drugs, with the single exception that it must contain no added poisonous ingredients.
The article sold as "Bred Spred" under the distinctive name, therefore, could be composed of moldy, decomposed, and decayed fruits, and still there would be no power accruing to the Government by which its sale could be prevented, since such decomposed material could not be shown to be injurious to health.
In drafting this measure we have undertaken, as far as it was possible to do so, to preserve the general scheme of the original act. There has been a definition of adulteration and of misbranding. There has been a more orderly arrangement of both the substantive and the implementing provisions.
It was found, soon after we undertook to make provision for the elimination of those sections of the act containing jokers, as in the case that I have demonstrated, and to correct the existing deficiencies of the law, that a mere amendment of the present statute presented, from a drafting standpoint, an impossible task. That is the reason the bill appears as one to supplant entirely the present act; but, as I have said, we have sought to preserve all of the worthwhile features of that law, and to make provision for the badly needed additional requirements which the experience of almost 30 years in the enforcement of the act has shown should be provided if the public is to be properly protected.
Senator COPELAND. Is the same language used in this bill as appears in the original act?
Mr. CAMPBELL. The same language is used in many places. In other places, advantage has been taken of interpreting court decisions to make more plain and more definite to the agencies subject to the terms of the law just what the significance of the statements now in the act may be. We will take this up from time to time as we proceed. The first section of the bill is devoted to definitions. The definition of the term "food" is precisely that of the present act, with the exception in line 9, on page 1, of the words "or entering into the composition of." Those words are not to be found in the existing definition. The reason for the incorporation of those words was to make certain of jurisdiction in the case of products like cream of tartar and phosphates which are not in and of themselves food but are employed so extensively in the manufacture of food, such as baking powders.
The definition of the term "drug" has been widened. In the present act that term is defined as including all medicines and preparations recognized in the United States Pharmacopoeia for internal or external use and any substance or mixture of substances intended to be used for the cure, mitigation, or prevention of disease of either man or animal.
There has been raised in that connection a question about the meaning of the words "substance or mixture of substances", whether the present definition of the term "drug" is sufficiently broad to include sutures, surgical dressings and the like. The importance of such products must be apparent immediately. We have found some such products on the market that were not sterile and have taken action, whether justified by the terms of the present law or not.
Senator COPELAND. Would that go so far as to cover the use of a truss or implements of that sort?
Mr. CAMPBELL. Under this particular definition it would. The words "device" in line 6, on page 2, is the word of the new definition which extends the scope of the law to cover not only surgical dressings but trusses or any other mechanical appliance that might be employed for the treatment of disease or intended for the cure or mitigation or prevention of disease.
Senator COPELAND. Would it refer to ultraviolet lights and various instruments of that sort?
Mr. CAMPBELL. It would. The third portion of the definition of the term drugs, all substances and preparations, other than food, and all devices intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animal, is admittedly an inclusive, a wide definition.
The purpose of the drafters of this bill in the formulation of that part of this section, Mr. Chairman, was to make possible the regulation of a great many products that have been found on the market that cannot be alleged to be treatments for diseased conditions.
I have in mind such products as antifat remedies. Obesity may not be a disease. There has been lately a tendency to market products on the claim that they will have slenderizing effects. Some of these products are definitely harmful. One of those which the Federal Trade Commission undertook to control was characterized by the Supreme Court as a dangerous product.
There can be no question about the necessity for the protection of public health by the extension of the provisions of this act to cover those articles.
Again, there are devices that are advertised, as the Secretary of Agriculture in his statement indicated to you, for heightening people; devices that are sold to make people taller; devices that are advertised to correct physiological or anatomical defects that may not in themselves be diseases, such as nose straighteners; most of them are pure frauds; many of them if used will produce physical harm, sometimes of an irreparable nature.
The next definition is that of cosmetics. Of course, this has no counterpart in the existing law. It may be of interest, however, to the committee to know that in the first drafts that were prepared of the existing act the term "cosmetics" was included. In the bill submitted originally by Dr. Wiley the definition of drugs included cosmetics. That was eliminated in the progress of that measure in Congress.
Senator COPELAND. Did the bill as introduced contain cosmetics? Mr. CAMPBELL. There were several bills introduced, Senator, bills for the regulation of foods and drugs having made their appearance in Congress several years prior to 1906. I am not sure whether this definition of drugs to include cosmetics appeared in the first measure. Certainly it appeared in some of the later measures.
The remainder of this section is devoted to the definition of such terms as "person", "Secretary", "label", and "labeling"; the last is one to which I wish to direct your attention.
At the present time the law has control over those statements that are attached to or that accompany the package in the form of circulars. For purposes of the subsequent requirements of this bill these have been divided into two classes; first, "label" meaning the principal label or labels upon the immediate container of any food, drug, or cosmetic, and upon the outside container or wrapper, if any there be, of the retail package of any food, drug, or cosmetic. Then the term "labeling" is defined so as to include not only the label but all circulars and material and placards for display purposes and the like that may in any form whatever accompany the article of food, drug, or cosmetics. There is the definition of the term "advertisement" and, finally, the term "in package form " including wrapped meats enclosed in paper or other material as prepared by the manufacturers thereof for sale.
There is no attempt made to define the package form of food, drugs, or cosmetics. In the existing law there is a requirement made by the Gould amendment of that act that foods in package form bear a plain declaration of the net weight.