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individual salary, has been $1,460.00, making a total for the year of $6,660.00. Previous to 1905, the statute limited the amount to be expended for laboratory supplies to $500.00. During the past year the amount expended for laboratory supplies was $1,719.00. The other expenses classified as laboratory expenses consist of traveling expenses of the laboratory force and that portion of the postage and express account which is properly classed under this head. It is worthy of note that when the amount annually expended by this department was only $20,000.00; less than 15% was used for laboratory maintenance; whereas now, that the amount annually spent by this department has been increased to $15,000.00, nearly 25% is used for laboratory maintenance. This exhibit of facts explains more tersely than any other statement I might make, the high standard of scientific excellence attained by the Dairy and Food Department of this State.

During the year just passed, the State was honored through the holding of the annual meeting of the Association of State and National Food Departments at Mackinac Island in August, 1908. The meeting was one of the largest and most successful ever held by that association and did much to increase interest among the people of this State for a higher standard of food products and a more effective administration of food law. During the past year, I had the honor to serve as chairman of the executive committee of this association.

The general features of the Michigan Dairy and Food laws have left little to be desired along the line of new legislation. The last legislature, however, in response to a very general desire that a state drug law should be enacted practically in conformity with the national drug law, placed upon the statute books a most satisfactory measure, establishing requirements uniform with those of the most of the other states and the national government and placing the administration of said law with this department. The appropriation to carry out the purposes of this law was fixed temporarily at $6,000.00, an amount entirely inadequate to make effective its provisions. The legislature in limiting the appropriation to this amount fully understood its inadequacy, but owing to the financial condition of the State treasury, expressed, through the respective committees of the senate and house, the desire to make at least a beginning in the work. This law does not go into effect until July 1, 1910. At that time, there will be appointed an additional department chemist especially fitted for drug work and two inspectors with special training for the work required of them. The law wisely provides that the inspectors must be graduated pharmacists. While it would be absolutely necessary to ask succeeding legislatures for increased appropriations to properly carry on the work of drug inspection and drug control, it may fairly be presumed that this branch of the department work can be established upon a desirable footing even with a limited appropriation for the first year.

I cannot speak too highly of the work of the dairy division of the department. This work has resulted in the increase of the dairy products in this State by many millions of dollars during the five years that the new law relating thereto has been in effect. To Deputy Commissioner Colon C. Lillie and to State Analyst Floyd W. Robison must be given the credit for the rapid development of the department along dairy lines.

Mr. Lillie is a practical and successful dairyman and because of his practical and successful experience, his connection with this department brought the department immediately into close relations with the general dairy interests of the State. The broad training and splendid equipment of Mr. Robison along practical scientific lines at once opened to him a field of usefulness to the dairymen of the State, which has given to the department a reputation for practical work unexcelled by any State or any country. I cannot speak too highly of the invaluable assistance of these men in building up this department to its present standard of excellence.

To the department force in general and to the Chief Clerk, Mr. M. J. Smith, in particular, I take this opportunity of recording my appreciation of their loyal service. From a department in 1905 of from 12 to 14 workers to a department in 1909 of 53 workers is a long stride in advance and made justifiable only by splendid results. It is with no hesitancy that I go on record with the statement that the results have amply justified this growth and with equal confidence I desire to state that such results could never have been attained except through an organization of faithful, willing and effective men and women all working towards one common end. It is to each member of this organization that I here and now record my sincere thanks and heartfelt appreciation. All of which is respectfully submitted,

A. C. BIRD, State Dairy and Food Commissioner.


Hon. A. C. Bird, State Dairy and Food Commissioner, Lansing, Mich

igan: Dear Sir:-You will recall that early in the year 1905, at your request, the writer began a series of studies having for their object the investigation of the possible effect on human beings of a class of substances known as chemical preservatives.

This work was entered into that answer might be made in the courts to the question, "Are chemical preservatives, when used in food products, deleterious to the public health ?”

The matter submitted herewith deals with one of those so-called chemical preservatives, namely, the Sodium Salt of Benzoic Acid, otherwise known as Sodium Benzoate, which substance, during the last four years, probably has found the widest distribution in manufactured food products of any of the so-called food preservatives.

If the data submitted herewith meets with your approval, I recommend that it be published as a special bulletin of the Department and be given special distribution among consumers. I beg to remain,

Very truly yours,

State Analyst.


The present paper has been preceded by two others, one of which, "Antiseptics in Tomato Catsup," was read before the Convention of State and National Food Departments at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1907; the other, "A Preliminary Paper on Preservatives in Food Products," was read before the Agricultural Section of the Michigan Academy of Science in 1908, but was not given out for publication.

This paper is the first to be completed of a series of General studies involving Benzoates, Salicylates, Borates and Formaldehyde.

The work was commenced in the summer of 1905, and has continued, with interruptions, up to the present time. The general plan of the experiment was laid out in 1905, and has been followed without any marked changes up to the present time.

Mr. Wilmer E. Robison, LL. B., and Miss Mable Mosher, B. S., have collaborated in the work herein recorded.

The autopsies and pathological examinations were performed by Dr. Ward Giltner, of the Bacteriological Department of the Michigan Agricultural College.

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