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DAMAGE BY FIRE.
On February 24th, 1916, about six o'clock in the morning, the writer discovered a fire in progress in the laboratory of the Department. He at once summoned the fire department by telephone but, owing to the location of the fire, it being in the center of the old State Building, and the stifling smoke caused by the burning of chemicals, the fire department was unable to subdue the flames for some hours. As a result, damage was done to the building to the extent of over $10,000 and the laboratory itself was practically a wreck. As a result of this fire the operations of the Department were curtailed for several months until the laboratory could be restored, and the collection of samples by inspectors was abandoned for several weeks, and the clerical and educational facilities of the Department were also badly hampered. Notwithstanding this disaster, the operations of the Department during the year, while conducted at a less expense than ever before, have exceeded any record in the Department's history.
INSPECTIONS DURING THE YEAR.
There were employed during the year on an average of eight regular food inspectors whose duties were to inspect stores, restaurants, hotels and other places where food is manufactured or stored. We have three dairy inspectors who inspect creameries and farm dairies, and two drug inspectors who inspect the drug stores of the State.
During the year these inspectors have made 19,129 inspections, being nearly 3,000 more than we made last year without any handicaps. Of these, 16,083 were food inspections, 809 were dairy inspections and 2,206 were drug inspections, and 31 soft drink establishments were inspected under the new law.
During the year I have had two practical and experienced experts in dairy and cheese making devoting their entire time to the inspection of butter and cheese factories and an additional expert of this character who is engaged in the educational work of showing dairies and creameries of the State how to produce a better product in a more economical manner.
The number of food samples sent in by inspectors during the year was 1,304 which on being analyzed 1,040 were found to be legal and 264 were found to be either adulterated or misbranded. Of the 445 drug samples sent in by the Drug Inspectors 311 were found to be legal and 134 illegal. The number of samples taken up and analyzed is somewhat less than in former years owing to the fact that the laboratory was out of commission for several months on account of the fire and also because the rigid enforcement of the food laws in the past few years has resulted in fewer violations of the law.
The economy of combining the Weights and Measures with the Dairy and Food Department is shown by the record made by the Inspectors in the examination of the weights and measures. Not only did our inspectors make nearly 20,000 inspections last year in drug and grocery stores, which is the largest number ever made in the Department, at a less cost than the previous year, but at the same time, during these inspections they examined the large number of 75.074 weights, scales, measures, yard sticks, tapes and baskets. Of this number 19,696 were
found to be incorrect. Of that number 1,101 were adjusted by the inspectors and the balance were tagged as incorrect and repairs ordered. A full and detailed account of the various kinds of scales and measures examined will be found in a further page of this report.
During the two previous years of my administration prosecutions were the greatest in the history of the Department. Whereas my predecessors averaged only about 40 prosecutions a year with 32 convictions, during the first two years of my term nearly 300 (ases were commenced annually and over 200 convictions secured. The result of the vigorous prosecution of the law is shown in the decreased number of prosecutions this year. Law violators have been convinced by our work in the past that the Department means business, that after a warning, if the offense is continued, we will prosecute. As a result of this vigorous policy there have been fewer violations of the food laws and weights and measures laws. Notwithstanding the fact that we have made more inspections and done more work and have showed greater activity during the past year than ever before, we have only started 104 cases during the year, in addition to the 57 cases that were pending at the commencement of the year. During the year we secured 99 convictions, 7 defendants were acquitted and 9 were discharged by us after investigation and 47 cases are still pending. I believe the coming year will show even less prosecutions because there seems to be now a general disposition to obey the laws governing the Department.
Our educational work has not been neglected during the year, in fact it seems to be growing. During the year the writer has addressed Women's Clubs, church societies, granges and farmers' institutions all over the State explaining to them the workings of the Department and distributing literature relating thereto. Our pamphlets on Food and Food Values and Clean Cows and Clean Stables continue to have a large circulation and we have requests for them from every state in the union. We have also issued several new pamphlets governing the care of milk and the making of butter, and Hints to Housewives relative to proper weights and measures. Occasional press bulletins are sent from time to time to the leading newspapers of the State on timely subjects regarding the Department and these are universally published.
BOTTLING OF SOFT DRINKS.
In the fall of 1914 the State Bottling Association, agreeing with the Department that there was much need for better inspection and more cleanly premises in soft drink bottling, requested the writer to frame a soft drink law to regulate the sale and manufacture of soft drinks in this State. I drafted a bill which was passed by the Legislature of 1915 and which constitutes the first soft drink law to go on the statute books of any state in the mion. The National Bottlers Association was opposed to this bill because they believed it to be an entering wedge for other states but the Michigan Bottlers Association backed up the Department in its efforts to have the bill passed. The bill provides for a
license from all manufacturers of carbonated beverages and under the terms of the bill $1,565 have been collected from the bottlers during the year and transferred into the State Treasury. In return for this the Department placed an inspector in the field whose special business was to inspect soft drink establishments and many abuses have been corrected through his efforts. The expense of the inspector has been less than half the amount paid in by the bottlers' association for licenses.
We have continued our supervision of the commission merchants in the State under the law of 1913. During the year 64 commission merchants were licensed to sell farm products and they paid into the State Treasury for licenses the sum of $1,840 which is about ten times as much as it costs to look after them. Quite a number of complaints have been made under the law against commission men by consignees of farm produce. Under the law it becomes the duty of the Department to adjust these cases if possible. In every case an adjustment satisfactory to the consignee was secured by agents of the Department.
INSPECTION OF FEEDING STUFFS.
The Legislature of 1915 removed from this Department the inspection and licensing of feed stuff's, to the Agricultural College. It was claimed by the College that this Department was not properly inspecting feeding stuffs in the State and that they needed the revenue of $5,000 to make feeding experiments at the College for the benefit of the farmers. The claims of the College were without foundation. We were vigorously enforcing the feeding stuff law. We had all our inspectors, some ten or twelve in number, taking samples and inspecting stock feeds. We found some violations of the law and they were vigorously handled and the entire license fees of $5,000 were turned into the State Treasury as we have our inspectors in the field on other stuffs and it cost the State practically nothing to enforce this law. Since the enforcement of this law has been with the College only one inspector has been on the job and part of the time no inspectors have been looking after feed stuffs, and as to feeding experiments, if the College performed any with the revenues derived from these licenses they have been kept secret by the authorities of the College and no bulletins have been issued concerning them to the masses of the people. One thing is certain, that the $5,000 that in previous years had been yearly turned into the State Treasury by this Department, is now resting securely in the Treasury of the Agricultural College to be spent by them for other purposes. No prosecutions have been instituted by the College during the year although our inspectors have noticed many violations of the feeding stuff law. The law under which the College operates and which was drafted by college authorities is defective and it is doubtful if any. one can be prosecuted under it. The proper and economical place for the inspection of the feeding stuffs is with this Department and my recommendation to the next Legislature, is that an improved law be passed and the enforcement of it be placed with this Department.
STATE BUTTER BRAND.
The Legislature of 1915 passed a law providing for a State brand for butter of uniform quality and placed the working out of the details
in the hands of the Dairy and Food Department. On another page of this report will be found an article on this subject by Mr. H. D. Wendt who has been in charge of the educational work in the creamery department. The Commission provided by law has had a meeting and has provided the various details for the use of State Brand Butter which will be found elsewhere. Several creameries have been licensed to use the State brand and there are quite a number of applications on file. I regard this matter of State Brand Butter to be one of the most far reaching moves in the creamery business. Denmark, by reason of her state brand, has brought the manufacture of butter to a very high state and exports more butter than any other country in the world, all because the state brand secures uniformity. State Brand Butter is now in the market and we are making every effort to keep it above the standard established and we believe it is only a question of time when the Michigan State Brand on a tub of butter will be equal to the Denmark brand of efficiency.
We have, during the year, organized a large number of creameries upon a real co-operative basis and these creameries are, with few exceptions, meeting with great success. We have gone further and organized a large number of co-operative creameries into a federation whereby they will make a uniform product and buy supplies altogether to their mutual advantage. We also are trying to develop markets for State Brand Butter and in every way that we can we are assisting the creameries to solve their problems both of manufacture and marketing No state in the union at this time is doing as much as the State of Michigan, through this Department, to develop the manufacture and marketing of high grade butter and cheese.
An investigation by this Department of Babcock test bottles used in buying cream disclosed the fact that there were a large number of different types of bottles and that many of them were incorrect. The Legislature of 1915 at the suggestion of the Department passed a law providing for standard specifications of Babcock test bottles. Upon its going into effect we established apparatus in the Department at Lansing for the testing and marking of all test bottles used in buying milk and cream.
We also made a ruling that all manufacturers that sold bottles in the State should first send their bottles to this Department to be by us tested and forwarded to the purchaser. This saves our inspectors from wandering all over the State and testing bottles at various creameries. During the fiscal year the Department has tested Babcock bottles to the number of 60,315. Of this number 8,000 were found to be incorrect and returned to the manufacturer. The balance found correct were marked with a sand blast “SGM” and sent to the various creameries in the State. This forms another new field that the Department has taken up without any increased appropriation. The law also provides for specifications for scales in weighing the cream and we have inspected these scales. The small insignificant scale used to buy cream does not attract much attention but more money is paid the producer based upon the weights shown by these scales than is paid by all the platform and stock scales in Michigan.
Three decisions have been rentered by the Supreme Court on laws bearing directly on the Dairy and Food Department. Inspectors of this Department attempted to inspect the food stuffs in the Detroit House of Correction. They were refused admission by the Superintendent on the ground that the institution was a public one and our inspectors had no right to inspect the food stuffs in same. I at once ordered a prosecution instituted against the Superintendent and secured his conviction in the Recorder's Court. He took an appeal to the Supreme Court which sustained the position of the Department by divided court.
The Legislature in 1913 passed a law limiting the amount of cereal in sausage. Bay City butchers combined to make a test case and upon the conviction of one of their number the case was taken to the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds. The head of this Department prepared a brief in favor of the law that was attacked and the Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion rendered a decision sustaining the law. Incidentally the decision is far reaching and can be used to sustain various other food laws should they be attacked.
The Legislature of 1913 passed a deceptive advertising 141 and this Department prosecuted a Detroit dealer under the same for deceptive advertising food product. The law was drafted by the head of this Department and in the Recorders Court the Judge dismissed the case on the ground that the law was unconstitutional. The head of this Department brought mandamus proceedings to test the decision of the Recorder's Court and the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision sustained the deceptive advertising law in every particular and ordered the lower court to proceed with the trial of the case.
The Dairy and Food Department is in existence because of the fact that unscrupulous dealers of food products could not be depended on to sell pure goods or to weigh them properly. It is also in existence to give educational work to the Dairies and creameries of Michigan. It always seemed to me that the retail dealers and other persons benefited by the operations of the Department should stand the expense thereof and not the general public. I believe that revenues should be derived from the persons benefited by the Department to pay the expenses thereof. We do this in part now. Much more might be done.
In Pennsylvania and Iowa a much larger amount of money is spent by the Dairy and Food Department than we spend in Michigan. The Departments in these two States not only pay all expenses but return a surplus to the State in revenue from fees collected by the Department. I believe this to be the proper system and if two or three laws were passed in Michigan the Dairy and Food Department would be self sustaining
I would again recommend the passage of the pure liquor law that I recommended two years ago. At that time the bill passed the House but failed in the Senate. It would have brought in several thousand dollars revenue to the Department all of which would have been paid by people outside of the State. It may be said that the State will go dry and thus take away this revenue. Such is not the fact for liquor would still be kept in every drug store in Michigan.