§ MR. HANDEL COSSHAM (Bristol, E.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the attention of the Government has been called to the hardship of the recent prosecutions of lard sellers under "The Food and Drugs Act, 1875," upon certificates of 1011 local official analysts, whose Reports, when appealed against, have been reversed at Somerset House; and, whether, for the protection of those who are complying with the Act, the Government will give instructions for all samples of lard to be analysed also at Somerset House before any proceedings before the magistrates be instituted?
THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVRENMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE)(who replied) said (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
I am informed by the Board of Inland Revenue that Dr. Bell, the Principal of the Laboratory at Somerset House, is not aware that the conclusions of the local official analysts in respect of samples of lard upon which legal proceedings were taken have, in any instance, been contradicted by the results obtained in his Department, with the exception of one instance of an alleged adulteration with water. The Sale of Food and Drugs Act, 1875, provides that, if any person proceeded against for adulteration so request, the Justices may cause a sample of the article to be sent to the Board of Inland Revenue, with a view to its being analyzed by the chemical officers of that Department; and the necessary provision is, therefore, made for a person who is proceeded against for adulteration obtaining a further analysis when he questions the accuracy of the analysis made by the public analyst of the district. The Government clearly have no authority to give instructions for all samples of lard to be analyzed at Somerset House before any proceedings before the magistrates are instituted.