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"I think that it is time we were making a change in the Federal food and drug law and improving it, as many things have come up since the old law was passed." From Arthur E. McClue, M.D., State health commissioner, State of West Virginia:
"It is highly desirable that the Federal food and drug bill, S. 1944, should be enacted, and I will request our Representatives and Senators to give it their support."
Statement from Mrs. E. H. Heller, president of the Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs:
"Much is being written and said about the proposed pure food and drug law, how it will require honest and informative labeling of all food stuffs, cosmetics, and drugs with the whole truth instead of a half truth as at present; how it will protect the consumer from false advertising; how it will provide that the standard of the product shall be on label; how it will establish a 'minimum tolerance' of the poisons which naturally occur in some foods, or are required in the course of growth and manufacture; how it will require full package and bottle content, doing away with bottles with sunken panels or thick sides; how it will protect women against unsafe cosmetics. In other words, it guarantees honest goods for the consumer.
"The club women of Kentucky are deeply interested in the passage of this bill, which so vitally affects the housewife. The club women have had the opportunity of having it explained to them this fall, as representatives of our State board of health spoke at all 11 district meetings. These meetings are held once a year for the club women of each district to get together; therefore, large groups were reached. In this way every section of the State has become interested in the passage of Senate bill 1944.'
Editorial appearing in the Herald-Post, Louisville, Ky., December 1, 1933: "Why We Need a Pure Food and Drug Law", by Mrs. E. H. Heller, president, Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs.
"Time makes ancient good uncouth" might well be written about our present food and drug law.
Many people fail to realize that this statute has become obsolete and no longer provides protection to the consumer.
Back in 1906, after Dr. Wiley's Pure Food and Drug Law was drafted, everybody felt perfectly safe, as it was thought this law provided that when a manufacturer truthfully labeled his product that the consumer was sufficiently protected.
But who in 1906 could have predicted the phenomenal growth of modern advertising through magazines, newspapers, billboards, the radio; hence, no provision was made to control advertising.
It seemed sufficient then, in order to protect the consumer against dishonest claims, to require only that the label tell the truth, but today because of this limitation in Dr. Wiley's law, a manufacturer who labels his products truthfully can at any time build up a demand for it through false advertising of the egregious sort, making claims at variance with the statement on the label.
Cosmetics were a comparatively unimportant item when Dr. Wiley's law was passed, but today the manufacture of cosmetics is an industry that closely affects the health and pocketbook of millions of consumers. There are certain types of "beautifiers" such as skin bleacher, freckle remover, hair dyes and tonics, and depilatories, which contain dangerous ingredients that sometimes cause serious skin poisoning, yet the Government cannot protect the consumer under the present law.
The new Federal Food and Drugs Act which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Royal S. Copeland of New York on June 12, 1933, as Senate bill 1944, is designed to correct the weaknesses in the present statute that have been brought to light through interpretation by the courts, and further to provide authority for the control of new conditions.
All false and misleading advertising of food, drugs, and cosmetics through any medium whatever is prohibited. The provisions concerning labels are considerably strengthened so that these labels must be definitely informative and the consumer may know exactly what he is buying and how he can use it with complete safety.
More drastic penalties for violation of the act will insure more faithful observance of the law and a greater protection for the buyer.
Under the new law the protection of the consumer is paramount. The ethical manufacturer is also protected, and there are many such manufacturers who will
be delighted to have this bill passed. It is only the manufacturer who makes the false claims who will oppose it.
The fate of this bill rests with the public, for whose protection it is designed. Statement from Louise Morel, chairman of public welfare and chairman of public health, Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs:
"The Women's Clubs of Kentucky that have had the opportunity of studying the bill S. 1944 are, without reservation, endorsing it in a very emphatic manner and are asking their Senators to pass same.
"The women know the value of publicity that produces information that serves to guide them to their purchases of foods, drugs, and cosmetics.
There is one section in the new food and drugs bill that contains more potential dynamic power than any other, section 21, relating to publicity. This section provides that 'The Secretary shall cause to be published periodically a report of all judgment decrees and orders which have been rendered, all proceedings instituted and seizures made, including the nature of the charge and disposition thereof.' "What is more to the point, it also provides that 'The secretary shall cause to be disseminated such information regarding any food, drug, or cosmetics as he deems necessary in the interest of public health and for the protection of the consumer against fraud'-.
"We believe that this section is one of the most valuable in the entire act." Resolutions adopted by the Women's Auxiliary to the Kentucky State Medical Association in annual session at Murray, Ky., September 1933:
"Whereas the Food and Drug Administration of the United States Department of Agriculture, acting under the instruction of President Roosevelt in his program for the new deal, has prepared a new food and drug law which has been introduced as Senate bill 1944 by Senator Copeland, of New York, in the Congress of the United States; and,
"Whereas this law, as prepared by the Administration, will protect the consumer from menace to health from misbranded and falsely advertised foods, drugs, and cosmetics and will provide such penalties for the violation of the law as are not now provided: Now, therefore, be it
"Resolved, That the members of the Women's Auxiliary to the Kentucky State Medical Association make every effort to further the passage of this bill, S. 1944, by urging individual Members of Congress to vote for its passage, and, further, be it "Resolved, That the auxiliary urge all members as individuals, and in organizations with other friends, to study and work for the passage of this bill, S. 1944." Resolutions adopted by the American Public Health Association in annual meeting at Indianapolis, Ind., in October 1933:
"Whereas the present Federal Food and Drugs Act has brought a high measure of protection to the American public through its faithful enforcement by the Food and Drug Administration officers and
"Whereas due to changing methods of manufacture and distribution of foods and drugs the act needs revision to maintain and increase public protection: Therefore be it
"Resolved, That we, the members of the American Public Health Association: "(1) Express our confidence in the intent and purposes of the principles of the proposed revision of the Federal Food and Drugs Act now before Congress for action; and
"(2) We solicit the support of all members of this association to secure the enactment into law of the objectives of this revision and
"(3) that this expression of the views of the association be made a part of the record of the association.
Statement published in the Health Notes, the official monthly bulletin of the State Board of Health of Florida, November 1933:
"New Federal Food and Drugs Act.
"A matter which should be of great interest to all interested in public health work is Senate bill S. 1944, introduced by Senator Copeland just before the adjournment of the last Congress. This bill, known as the new Federal Food and Drugs Act, will have active consideration by the next Congress.
"In the bill are included many provisions intended to expand, supplement, and strengthen the present Federal Food and Drugs Act. The bill provides for control of advertising of all foods, drugs, and cosmetics. The present law has no jurisdiction over advertising, outside of the actual package label. It will prohibit the sale of dangerous cosmetics and will require all cosmetics to be truthfully labeled. Dangerous cosmetics are not restricted in any manner under the present law.
"The measure will authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to establish standards for foods having the force and effect of law and will require more fully informative labels on foods, drugs, and cosmetics. It will also prevent the sale of drug products for self-medication for diseases where such use may be dangerous. It will prevent either direct or indirect representation of the effect of drugs which is contrary to the general agreement of medical opinion, and will also require products labeled as ‘antiseptics' to be really antiseptic when used according to directions.
"Of great interest to health workers and consumers is the fact that this bill will provide a means for control of sanitary conditions of manufacture, processing, and packaging of food products, a factor lacking in the present law.
"It will require label and advertising statements claiming special nutritional value for food products to be literally true and will outlaw all manner of deceptive packages, including slack-filled and deceptively shaped ones.
[Editorial from Courier Journal, Louisville, Ky., Dec. 10, 1933]
THE FOOD AND DRUG BILL
Secretary of Agriculture Wallace has added his official endorsement to the Copeland bill to strengthen the Pure Food and Drugs Act. When Senator Copeland introduced it last June it was announced that the bill was submitted by direction of President Roosevelt, but it was lost in the legislative stampede during the last days of the session. Prof. Rexford Guy Tugwell, one of Secretary Wallace's assistants, is generally credited with being its author.
Briefly, the Tugwell or Copeland bill is designed to modernize food and drug supervision by extending to advertising, by radio or the printed page, the same provisions that now restrict labeling, and to put the cosmetics industry also under supervision. In the case of patent medicines, the therapeutic claims must conform to the general agreement of medical opinion. For instance, drugs that are mere palliatives must be labeled, and advertised, as such and not as cures. Concoctions containing narcotics must contain a warning to that effect. Germicides must tell how much application is necessary to kill the microorganisms. The labels hereafter must tell the exact amount of a bottle's contents. Labels on food packages also must be fully informative as to their content.
Of course, the patent medicine manufacturers call the bill "the greatest legislative crime in history," and there is some protest by food processors, but the cosmetics industry welcomes regulation as a whole because of the many cheap and dangerous products on the market. Publishing, advertising, and radiocasting interests have demanded the reform of shady advertising habits because of the reflection upon them when deceit or fraud is practiced. By the terms of the bill, the regulation of which is in the hands of the Secretary of Agriculture, those who pay for the advertising are held responsible for misstatements.
Professor Tugwell had a "chamber of patent medicine horrors" at the Century of Progress. Among the displays, a fair sample of its contents, was an alleged diabetes cure, selling at $12 a bottle, and beside it a column of testimonials by persons claiming to have been cured. Paralleling the testimonials were death certificates of the individuals in question, showing each to have succumbed to the disease they claimed to have been healed of.
The howls of the nostrum manufacturers prove the deadly accuracy of the Tugwell thrusts. The greatest objector to the restriction on nostrum advertisements is the country weekly, whose rural subscribers constitute the bulk of patentmedicine dupes. If the people are undeceived, the manufacturers will lose sales.
The CHAIRMAN. Next we will hear from Mrs. Bannerman, legislative chairman, National Congress of Parent-Teacher Associations. STATEMENT OF MRS. WILLIAM T. BANNERMAN, LEGISLATIVE CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL CONGRESS OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS
Mrs. BANNERMAN. My name is Mrs. William T. Bannerman, chairman of the committee on legislation of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers.
The National Congress of Parents and Teachers has as its purpose child welfare in school, church, home, and community.
We have organizations in 48 States, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, 20,000 local associations, with a paid membership of approximately 1,500,000.
We do not claim to represent any particular interests, since our purpose is child welfare.
I suppose that there may be in our organization capitalists, professional people, laborers, manufacturers, advertisers, and people of all types of occupation. Since our purpose is child welfare, I think it will be conceded that self-interest is not our motive in supporting this bill.
We have had for more than thirty years, a definite health program for children which is carried on both in the home and in the school. We believe that there is just as much need for the protection which this legislation is designed to afford, as there is for the protection of an army and navy for other types of enemies to life. The National Congress of Parents and Teachers indorses general principles with regard to health, schools, etc., at its annual convention; specific bills which are in conformity with these principles are indorsed by its Board of Managers. S. 1944 was unanimously indorsed by the N. C. P. T. Board of Managers on Sept. 21, 1933. We urge its early
enactment into law.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mrs. Bannerman.
Mrs. Franklin W. Fritchey, of the Maryland Home Makers' Association.
STATEMENT OF MRS. FRANKLIN W. FRITCHEY ON BEHALF OF THE MARYLAND HOME MAKERS' ASSOCIATION
Mrs. FRITCHEY. Not long ago I was asked if I was any relation to Barbara Frietchie, of Maryland. I said that I was the mother of Barbara Fritchey, and the gentleman said, "You certainly have held your age."
Dr. Copeland, and members of the Committee, I represent a group of women who have been studying foods. That has been our real work for several years.
We felt that as a home makers' group we would take up consumer problems, and so the first thing in which we became interested was foods.
We had the great pleasure of working with Dr. Wylie, and through our contact with Dr. Wylie we just stayed on foods. We found that it was an unlimited field, and a great work for us to do.
So we have taken up the study of legislation with regard to foods and, of course, that took us into the study of the pure food laws.
We knew that Dr. Wylie had had a tremendous fight, and I believe even a bigger one than Dr. Campbell and all of you are having here today, but he fought bravely, and he had the backing, at that time, of many women and women's organizations.
Necessarily, then, we became interested in the new bill. Last spring I compiled and published a booklet on the origin of the pure food laws and the progress in Federal food control and I have distributed 75,000 copies during the Century of Progress this summer.
I have met thousands of women and talked to them, and I felt that this book would be an education to them along the line of what the
pure food laws were; women knew so little about them, and it would prepare them so that they would understand the new law.
I am receiving letters from almost every State asking me for more information on the pure food laws and how to prepare programs before women's clubs on that subject.
We find that women's responsibility as consumers and as the world's largest buyers leads them to realize their power as purchasing agents for their families, and they are beginning to take their jobs more seriously and beginning to make their power felt, as it should be.
We must recognize in these days of the so-called "depression" and the New Deal that the good of the consumer and the good of industry are bound up together.
Right here I might say that I feel as the previous speaker said, that consumers should be represented in the conferences of you men who are preparing foods for us, as to what we would like, what size jars, what quality, and so forth and so on.
I do not think that it would be amiss for us to sit around a table together and then maybe we would not have to have so many pure food laws.
We find, too, that the home is being revitalized; there is a lot of professional skill going into the home. We are getting new techniques into the homes, scientific management, and we are all interested in this institution called the home.
Economically, the world cannot function unless women make some kind of productive return, and so we are necessarily interested in the new food law.
It is a measure that is going a great deal farther than the present law, and we do endorse this bill, with a few reservations.
We do want honest advertising. One man said today he was spending he was afraid to tell how much, but we know it is in the millions we know the journals and magazines and newspapers are only for women, outside of the front page.
All of these items, from sauerkraut to fur coats, are for us, and when we know that you are going to be honest advertisers, then we are going to have more confidence in your goods and you.
In other words, if we were all on principle, and principle means honesty, we are all going to be a happy family, we are going to be happy and work with you, and you are going to be happy to have us work with you.
We women have always bravely faced the daily task of providing food for the health and well-being of our families. Not so many years ago the problem was to find the food. Now the problem is to choose from the vast markets of the world, and how is she going to choose unless she has correct labels on her packages and on her cans?
We welcome the McNary-Mapes amendment, because it was a great help to us.
It was sponsored, we found, through the National Canners' Association, and when we found that, we consulted with them to what extent we could believe them, and what faith we could have in their labels, and for that reason we feel that this new law, which suggests Grades A, B, and C, would be a wonderful thing for all of us if it could be enforced.