Speed-up of National Pure Food Campaign
Renewal of Food Safety Debate in Congress
The national government's stepped-up pure food campaign, which brought a crisis for the cranberry industry in November and since has thrown millions of dollars' worth of tenderized chicken off the market, will move into high gear on March 6 when the Food Additives Act of 1958 comes into full effect. After that date, food suppliers are forbidden to use any non-food substance in their products unless they have proved the substance safe for human consumption or have received special government permission to use it in a way that will not be injurious to health.
Housewives may find in March that some familiar food items have become suddenly unavailable. This will not necessarily mean that the missing product is harmful, only that it contains an ingredient or ingredients not yet cleared for safety by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The product may later return to grocers' shelves with identical or only slightly changed ingredients.
One thing worrying the food industry is that, even when a product previously banned is given a clean bill of health, consumers may refuse to buy it. The “Great Cranberry Scare” of last November had that result; housewives shunned cranberries at Thanksgiving and Christmas time notwithstanding official assurances that all being marketed were safe. The industry is concerned also over a government ban on use of seven coal-tar colors in food products. The F.D.A. removed these colors from its certified list nearly a year ago and last Oct. 21 banned use of existing stocks previously acquired by food processors under F.D.A. certification. The deadline for filing petitions for judicial review of the latter action was recently moved from Jan, 15 to April 6.