The unsatisfactory state of the law with regard to prosecutions for impoverished milk has been further exemplified in a series of prosecutions at Oldham. Three farmers were summoned for having sold milk not of the nature, substance and quality demanded by the purchaser, and the evidence produced showed that the milk in each case was not only deficient as compared with the standard set by the Board of Agriculture, but even more deficient when compared with mixed samples taken at the farm. The Deputy Town Clerk, who conducted the prosecution, pointed out that the case of Wilkinson v. Clark clearly showed that the Inspectors were justified in going to the farm for a second sample, if the second was comparable with the first, and were entitled to rely on the Public Analyst's certificate for both samples. He argued that, in view of the enhanced price of milk, it was very necessary that the purchaser should be adequately protected and that he should obtain what he paid for pure unadulterated milk. The defence in the first case was a denial of the milk having been tampered with, it being sold as it came from the cow. Results of experiments at the Yorkshire College for Agricultural Education were quoted to show that wide variations in the quality of the milk might occur for which the farmer ought not to be held responsible. In the present case it was admitted that one of the cows was not milking satisfactorily, and had a hard udder. The milk from this cow when examined closely, was stated in the defendant's evidence to be more like water. This had only been found out on the morning when the first sample had gone into the churn for sale. The Bench, after consultation, expressed themselves satisfied that the milk had not been tampered with, and dismissed the summons.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 1917