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PRICE v. PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS

June 21, 1915

PRICE
v.
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS



ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS

White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, Hughes, Van Devanter, Lamar, Pitney, McReynolds

Author: Hughes

[ 238 U.S. Page 447]

 MR. JUSTICE HUGHES delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a writ of error to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of Illinois, which affirmed a judgment of the Municipal Court of Chicago, finding the plaintiff in error guilty of a violation of the 'Pure Food' statute of that State and imposing a fine. 257 Illinois, 587.

The violation consisted of a sale in Chicago of a preservative compound known as 'Mrs. Price's Canning Compound' alleged to be intended as a 'preservative of food' and to be 'unwholesome and injurious in that it contained boric acid.'

The statute (Laws of Illinois, 1907, p. 543, §§ 8 and 22, Ch. 127b; Hurd's Rev. Statutes, 2209, 2213, 2218) provides:

"§ 8. DEFINES ADULTERATION. That for the purpose of this act an article shall be deemed to be adulterated: . . .

"In case of food: . . .

[ 238 U.S. Page 448]

     "Fifth -- If it contains any added poisonous or other added deleterious ingredient which may render such article injurious to health: Provided, that when in the preparation of food products for shipment they are preserved by an external application, applied in such a manner that the preservative is necessarily removed mechanically, or by maceration in water, or otherwise, and directions for the removal of said preservatives shall be printed on the covering of the package, the provisions of this act shall be construed as applying only when such products are ready for consumption; and formaldehyde, hydrofluoric acid, boric acid, salicylic acid and all compounds and derivatives thereof are hereby declared unwholesome and injurious. . . .

"§ 22. SALE OF PRESERVATIVES PROHIBITED. No person, firm or corporation shall manufacture for sale, advertise, offer or expose for sale, or sell, any mixture or compound intended for use as a preservative or other adulterant of milk, cream, butter or cheese, nor shall he manufacture for sale, advertise, offer or expose for sale, or sell any unwholesome or injurious preservative or any mixture or compound thereof intended as a preservative of any food: Provided, however, that this section shall not apply to pure salt added to butter and cheese."

A trial by jury was waived. There was a stipulation of facts setting forth, in substance, that the defendant had sold in Chicago two packages of the preservative in question; that the compound contained 'boric acid'; that the label on the packages bore the following statement: "It is not claimed for this Compound that it contains anything of food value, but it is an antiseptic preparation, and among its many uses may be employed to prevent canned fruits and vegetables from souring and spoiling"; that the preservative was not ...


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