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JAMA 100 Years Ago
April 25, 2007


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(16):1834. doi:10.1001/jama.297.16.1834-b

As we go to press we learn that the substitute pure food bill now pending before the Illinois Legislature has been amended so as partially to restore its usefulness. This bill is a makeshift substitute for a carefully drawn and thoughtfully considered bill formulated by the state Pure Food Commission. The original bill contained practically the same provisions as the national Food and Drugs Act, modified for state purposes. It also contained special provisions for a pure milk supply and regulated conditions in the dairy farms as well as methods of transportation and delivery. The substitute bill contained none of these provisions. It is stated in the daily press that the chairman of the committee on manufactures induced the speaker of the House to omit these provisions on the ground that they would interfere with the butter, milk and cheese business. It has also been stated that the Elgin Board of Trade, which practically controls the butter market, was influential in bringing about this change. The position of the business men seems to be that cleanliness is expensive and will lay too heavy a tax on the business and that the people of the state, in order to protect the profits of the business, should take the consequences in the shape of dirty milk. It has been charged that a lobbyist, interested in blended whisky, was allowed to deliver the bill to the printer (!) and took advantage of the opportunity to “improve” the bill in its portions referring to whisky. It might be well for the medical profession in Illinois to ascertain whether the pure food bill now pending is for the benefit of the people or was drawn in the interests of dirty milk and blended whisky.

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