JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
The national pure food act, which went into effect January 1, carries with it, in a negative way, a danger that is not inconsiderable. The unthinking may be lulled into a sense of false security and unconsciously may get the idea that impure and adulterated food is henceforth to be a rara avis on the market. This act, while prohibiting the sale of impure foods within the District of Columbia, in the several territories and outside of the state in which it is manufactured, in no way interferes with a purveyor of adulterated foodstuffs in any particular state—provided such foods are sold within the state where manufactured. In other words, while any food that is brought in from another state must come up to the standard of purity required by the national law, the foodstuffs manufactured within one's own state may be grossly sophisticated. This gives the dishonest manufacturer a chance to unload on his home market what old stock he has that does not comply with the federal requirements and also permits him to continue to manufacture and sell within his home state food material that is impure and adulterated. The way to prevent this dishonest and health-destroying traffic in a state is to enact a state pure food law.
NATIONAL VS. STATE PURE-FOOD LAWS.. JAMA. 2007;297(3):322. doi:10.1001/jama.297.3.322-b