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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
OFFICE OF DAIRY AND FOOD COMMISSIONER,
TO HIS EXCELLENCY, FRED M. WARNER, Governor of Michigan:
SIR-I have the honor to submit herewith the annual report of the Dairy and Food Commissioner for the year ending June 30, 1906. The work of the Department has in the main been satisfactory. The reorganization of the Department effected by the passage of the law of 1905 has made possible the establishment of co-operative lines of work in connection with the dairy industry of the State, and the results of this work are gratifying not only to the producers of dairy products, but to the consumers as well. Through the active co-operation of this Department the creameries, cheese factories, milk supply houses, milk dealers and milk producers have uniformly been brought to a higher appreciation of the importance of the business conducted by them. A better product has resulted and both producer and consumer have benefited thereby.
The other regular lines of the work of the Department, including the inspection of bakeries, have been prosecuted with vigor and with satisfactory results. The funds made available have been found sufficient to meet the requirements of the work and unless the duties devolving upon the Department are increased by the next Legislature, no additional income will be required.
This report has been somewhat delayed, in order, if possible, that the final determination of the courts with reference to the application of the so-called commercial feeding stuffs act of the Legislature of 1905, might become known to the Department. Further delay, however, is impossible, as the case in question will not be heard by the Supreme Court of the State until January, 1907. It is to be hoped that the final opinion will be forthcoming soon after that date. No recommendations can be made by me with reference to further legislation along this line until this opinion shall have been rendered.
The work of the Department in detail, including the financial statement, is set forth in the following pages. All of which is respectfully submitted
A. C. BIRD,
Dairy and Food Commissioner.
In one of the Department bulletins a statement is made of the attempted enforcement by this Department of the so-called commercial feeding stuffs act, passed at the last session of the Michigan legislature. It will be remembered at the time of the issuing of the bulletin in question, an injunction had been secured by the Pratt Food Company, restraining any further attempt of the Department to enforce the law in question so far as it applied to the so-called stock foods. This matter came before the circuit court of the county of Ingham of the State of Michigan, and was thoroughly contested, both on the part of the Pratt Food Company, represented by counsel from Philadelphia and from Lansing, and the Michigan State Dairy and Food Department, represented by the Attorney General of this State and his assistants. The court took the matter under advisement for several weeks before rendering a decision. Before going to press the following opinion was handed down by Judge Howard Wiest of the Ingham county circuit court, before whom the case was tried.
STATE OF MICHIGAN-The Circuit Court for the County of Ingham, In Chancery.
Pratt Food Company, a corporation vs. Arthur C. Bird, State Dairy and Food Commissioner.
Act No. 12 of the Public Acts 1905 provides that commercial feeding stuffs shall have attached to each package thereof a plainly printed statement clearly and truly certifying the number of net pounds in the package sold or offered for sale, the name or trademark under which the article is sold, the name of the manufacturer or shipper, the place of manufacture, the place of business and a chemical analysis stating the percentages it contains of crude protein, crude fibre, nitrogen-free extract and ether extract, all constituents to be determined by the methods adopted by the association of official agricultural chemists.
Section 18, subdivision A, defines the term, "concentrated feeding stuffs" and ends with this clause: "Also all condimental stock foods, patented and proprietary stock foods, claimed to possess nutritive properties, and all other materials intended for feeding to domestic animals." The same act provides also that before any manufacturer or person shall sell or offer for sale in this State any such commercial feeding stuffs, he shall file annually with the Dairy and Food Commissioner a certified copy of a chemical analysis of such food, and shall obtain a license, etc. It is made the duty of the Dairy and Food Commissioner
to cause to be published each year a bulletin containing a correct statement of such analyses, together with any incidental information concerning the same which he may deem proper. The Dairy and Food Commissioner, claiming the product offered for sale in this State by complainant is a concentrated commercial feeding stuff within the provisions of said act, intends to comply with the provisions of that act and publish an analysis of the Pratt Food, and to warn dealers in his bulletin directed by law to be published, that its sale in this State is unlawful because the complainants have not complied with the law quoted above.
The complainant claims its preparations known as Pratt's Foods are not concentrated feeding stuffs, and asks the court to restrain the Dairy and Food Commisisoner from treating them as within the law mentioned, and from publishing the analysis of the same, and such warning to dealers, alleging an irreparable injury to its business in case such threatened publication is made.
The first point made is that the act in question is unconstitutional because the title to the same is no more than that of the earlier acts providing for the appointment of a Dairy and Food Commissioner and fixing his powers and duties, and in the earlier acts, and of which this act is an amendment, nothing was said about regulation of, or penalties for dealing in feeding stuffs for animals, and it is also claimed that the act in its title does not warrant the legislation passed under such a title. The terms employed in the title to the act are broad but not specific. The title does not state a purpose not contained in the original act or any of the numerous amendments made before this, viz., to provide penalties for violations of its provisions.
In the exercise of the police power, the legislature may adopt regulations intended to prevent deception and promote fair dealing, and may delegate the execution of the police power to this end to an executive officer, and this is what was intended by the act in question. The appointment of the commissioner and the fixing of his salary are expressly provided for in the title, and that title also expresses the intention of defining his powers over matters pertaining to his office, and his duties in relation thereto and penalties for violations of the provisions of that law.
Clearly the many duties and the power to perform them to make the law effective could not be stated in the title, for to do so would make the title in fact, the act. The police power over certain matters relating to foods by this act, is delegated to the Dairy and Food Commissioner, and all of those powers, duties and penalties fall within the intention easily contemplated in the title. The title to the act declares the purpose of making violations of its provisions subjects for penalties; and one reading the whole of the title must at once understand the act contains penal provisions.
I am not willing to hold the act unconstitutional.
It is also claimed that the product known as Pratt's Food, whether for stock or poultry, is not a food or concentrated feeding stuff, but a medicine or tonic only, and that while it tones up the system of the animal, yet it is not a feed, and is not sold or bought to take the place of the usual feed.
The Dairy and Food Commissioner claims the product is a concen