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Mr. Hagen. One of the witnesses made a statement that, I believe it was Mr. Martin—to the effect that the standards applied by the Food and Drug Administration, in the case of figs, are identical with those that obtain under the State marketing order, is that correct?
Mr. SMITH. As I understand the specifications which the domestic dried figs must meet in order to be in compliance with the regulations under the marketing order, there is a difference in them and those of the Food and Drug
standards. The tolerance for defects which I recall to be 10 percent is the same, but under the Federal marketing order there is a limitation of?
Mr. GENSKE. A limitation of 5 percent on the total insect infestation and a further requirement, shall not contain more than 13 heads per hundred grams in fig paste. Whether this is being followed, also, by the Food and Drug Administration, we do not know.
Mr. HAGEN. I wonder if you could do this, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration with respect to each of these commodities-the citrus, the figs, the walnuts, and the date products—if you would submit comparisons with the standards which the Food and Drug Administration applies and those the orders require, could you do that? That is, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration.
Mr. Smith. You would have in mind what are currently in effect?
Mr. HAGEN. That is right. So we could look at them and see what new standards would enter the picture if you were brought into it as compared to the current criteria that the Food and Drug Administration applies.
Do you follow me?
Mr. SMITH. I think I understand what you are requesting, Mr. Congressman. But again, I want to repeat what I said in an earlier statement, and which is based on experience that we have had in issuing regulations under section 8e. We could find it desirable and economic to change minimum quality specifications. What might prove necessary and desirable at some future date, of course, we could not anticipate in providing you the information requested. But taking what is in effect at the present time we would be glad to work with them and collaborate in such a submittal.
Mr. HAGEN. We would like to know, just to make a comparison, between the standards applied to the various products by the Food and Drug and those that would be applied if they were under this section 8e.
Mr. SMITH. We will undertake to do that.
Mr. TEAGUE. Perhaps, I should have asked Mr. Harvey this question. I understand that the two main functions of the Food and Drug Administration is to inspect for health and, also, for mislabeling, when it is labeled "superior quality,” when actually it is of poor quality. Is that generally it?
Mr. SMITH. It is my understanding that is correct.
Mr. TEAGUE. For the purpose of the question, let us assume that is the case. Then let us get back to grapefruit, bearing that in mind. It is quite possible, it seems to me, that you might have on the stands of the grocery store grapefruit that is possibly stamped, let us say, “Florida,” or” “Texas,” or “Arizona," you might have a grapefruit right next to it in another bin which comes from the Isle of Pines; and perhaps nothing wrong with it at all from the health standpoint, it may look all right, but it may have practically no juice in it, it may be of very poor quality. It seems to me that a housewife coming in there might very well pick out that Isle of Pines grapefruit which may be marked “8 cents," as compared to the Florida grapefruit which is marked "10 cents." It has not been mislabeled. Nothing wrong with it from the health standpoint. When she gets home and finds it has very little juice content, she may well be inclined to buy no grapefruit at all for a long time to come. Now do you think that is a fair statement !
Mr. SMITH. Yes, I think that is a fair statement.
Mr. TEAGUE. The reason I say that of course it seems to me there is a point which is in the interest of not only our agriculture but the consuming public where protection is needed which is not performed under the functions of the Food and Drug Administration.
Mr. SMITH. Let me add in my answer to your question, Congressman Teague, that section de undertakes to regulate the imported commodity by grade, size, quality, and maturity, which also involve factors other than what we ordinarily refer to as “Food and Drug factors." Mr. TEAGUE. You people are not
Mr. SMITH. So far as grade standards are concerned that we promulgate in the Department of Agriculture for fruits and vegetables, including the items which we are considering here today, we start with the minimum requirements of Food and Drug and build our grade structure from thereon. This process gets to the marketability, rather than just the minimum health factors which are involved in Food and Drug specifications.
Mr. TEAGUE. That comment that I made was not intended to be a reflection on the Food and Drug Administration. That is a point I am sure that you will feel the same way about.
Mr. Smith. That is correct.
Mr. TEAGUE. The point I am trying to make, if I understand it correctly, your function is quite different-it is not a duplication. It goes into other fields not covered by them.
Mr. SMITH. That is correct.
Mr. Hagen. I want to ask, when were limes and grapefruit included in the section? Do you know that?
Mr. SMITH. As I recall, the list of nine commodities now covered in section 8e, were included at the time the amendment was made to the act, which was in 1954.
Mr. Hagen. They were then included!
Mr. Hagen. You have been engaged in this activity, with respect to these commodities, for some time. Have you had any complaints from importers of tomatoes and so forth, that your activities are unduly a burden to commerce ?
Mr. Smith. Mr. Congressman, I could not answer with a flat "no," because any time you engage in regulation, some folks will be critical or complain about some phase of the regulation. I would say in every instance we have succeeded in working out the problem, not only with our domestic industry but the importing interests to a very satisfactory degree.
Take on the item of tomatoes, the biggest source of our foreign supply is Mexico. Well, the major portion of the shipments of Mexican tomatoes to this country were inspected prior to their being covered in section 8e and subject to this type of regulation. Despite this I might add that the domestic importers, as well as some of the Mexican representatives, were quite apprehensive right after the bill became law as to what they might be subject. The problems have been worked out. I would say that arrangements have met with a great degree of acceptance. Perhaps an ironical note is that the Mexican exporters and their representatives in this country, the importers, have urged our domestic producers to improve the domestic quality offered to the consumer by improving tighter regulations on themselves.
Mr. HAGEN. I would assume the principal complaint would be the cost involved ? Mr. Smith. We have had no complaints on cost. Mr. HAGEN. No complaints on cost? Mr. SMITH. No, sir.
Mr. HAGEN. Has an effort been made to use the inclusion of these products under section de to exclude this foreign commerce?
Mr. Smith. Congressman Hagen, I am glad you asked me that question, because I have heard the testimony, of course, of a previous witness, and some of his statements disturbed me as an official of the Department of Agriculture considerably. I refer to the testimony of Mr. Martin. I hope I misunderstood him when he was saying or making the statement which conveyed to me the thought that there would be an element of partiality in administering inspection work under this statute. With that, sir, I would have to take strong exception. The Department prides itself in conducting an unbiased, objective inspection service. It has been in that business for many, many years and I think does a very creditable and outstanding job. We do not undertake either to gouge the applicants for inspection so far as costs are concerned. Congress has imposed upon us a limitation which requires us to be self-supporting: The fees charged must be such as to make us whole or self-supporting, and not beyond that. It is not a profit enterprise.
Mr. Hagen. Are there any further questions?
Mr. Hagen. I believe that is all of the questions, Mr. Smith. Do you have any further comments you would like to make?
Mr. Smith. There is one other, Congressman Hagen, one other point that I would like to make. You will note that in the full text of section 8e, Congress saw fit to indicate, or state that reasonable notice be given when a regulation is to be imposed.
The commodities covered at the present time in section 8e are all items imported into this country from countries nearby. They involve imports principally from Canada, Cuba, and Mexico. The original idea behind section 8e, as we understand it in the Department, contemplated regulating imports from these nearby countries.
The commodities other than oranges involved in the bills before the committee at the present time, come from distances considerably greater. We visualize from the consideration that we have been able to give these proposals thus far, that we would have some problems in working out what would constitute due or reasonable notice to the importers, so that the imposition of regulations could be met without
imposing undue burden on the foreign exporting country of the commodity and the domestic importer.
What discussions we have had with representatives of the domestic industry have included advising them to recognize there would be this problem, and we would expect their indulgence in what would finally be determined as constituting reasonable notice in imposing regulations on imports.
Mr. Hagen. You are not saying that the statute should be changed with respect to notice requirements!
Mr. SMITH. No. As a matter of record, I am saying that we would find it necessary in the course of the administration of this bill to take advantage of the latitude in the language which the statute now contains. Where the imports come from a short distance, like from Cuba, reasonable notice would be one thing, or coming from Mexico to this country, but imports coming from, we will say, abroad, the Mediterranean area, the Continent, some longer period of notice, we think, would be involved.
Mr. Hagen. I have one more question, I wonder if you would submit to the committee at the time you submit your description of the standards governing each crop that we are talking about, would a list of the products under Federal marketing orders that have quality and grade control features applied to them?
Mr. SMITH. We will be glad to do that sir.
Are there any other witnesses here who wish to be heard? I notice
Mr. BRYCE. The witness that represented the Pure Food and Drug Administration, I believe, commented to the effect that the main difficulty in shelled walnuts arose from rancidity. It so happens that in the spring of 1956, at which time we were very much concerned about the heavy imports of low-quality walnut kernels, that we selected samples of walnut kernels from Iran, from Turkey, and from Italy. And I should like to read for the subcommittee the results of these investigations on the samples.
The Iranian samples averaged 3.4 molded, 4.7 worm scored, and 5.7 pornind rancid kornels They, also, contain d seven-tenths of a percent dust in shells. Thus the defect totaled 16.4 percent by weight, whinly means that 16.4 percent of these lots were unfit for human consumption.
e Turkish samples were even worse. They contained 23 percent worm-scored kernels and 2.1 percent dust in shell, giving a total of 25 1 or one-quarter of the material in the sample being unfit for human consumption.
The Italian sample totaled 4.3 percent unfit for human consumption, including worm-damaged kernels as well as rancid kernels. I should like to, also, reiterate our impression or rather our knowledge that the standards under the marketing order are definitely higher than what we can ascertain are applied by the Pure Food and Drug Administration.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
With your permission, I would like to make a part of your record, the United States Standards for Shelled English Walnuts, effective March 14, 1954.
Mr. HAGEN. I have one question. You said they were unfit for human consumption. Who made that determination
Mr. BRYCE. This is our determination on the basis of these samples. They were permitted into the country.
Mr. Hagen. They were permitted into the country?
Mr. BRYCE. We took them from channels of commerce after they had been admitted.
Mr. HAGEN. I see.
Mr. Hagen. I see. That is what I wanted to establish. That may be made a part of the record.
(The document referred to is as follows:)
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE UNITED STATES STANDARDS FOR SHELLED ENGLISH WALNUTS (JUGLANS REGIA)
[19 F. R. 817] Effective March 14, 1954
GENERAL Sec. 51.2275 General.
GRADES 51.2276 U. S. No. 1 51.2277 U. S. Commercial.
UNCLASSIFIED 51.2278 Unclassified.
TOLERANCES FOR GRADE DEFECTS 51.2279 Tolerances for grade defects.
COLOR REQUIREMENTS 51.2280 Color classifications. 51.2281 Tolerances for color. 51.2282 Off color.
SIZE REQUIREMENTS 51.2283 Size classifications. 51.2284 Tolerances for size.
APPLICATION OF TOLERANCES 51.2285 Application of tolerances.
DEFINITIONS 51.2286 Well dried. 51.2287 Clean. 51.2288 Shell. 51.2289 Insect injury. 51.2290 Rancidity. 51.2291 Damage. 51.2292 Serious damage. 51.2293 Very serious damage. 51.2294 Half kernel. 51.2295 Three-fourths half kernel,
AUTHORITY : $8 51.2275 to 51.2295 issued under sec. 205, 60 Stat. 1090, Pub. Law. 156, 83d Cong. ; 7 U. S. C. 1624.
8 51.2275 General. The walnut color charts to which reference is made in 88 51.2280 and 51.2281 has been prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture as a part of these standards.
1 Packing of the product in conformity with the requirements of these standards shall not excuse failure to comply with the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic
? These standards supersede U. S. Standards for Shelled English Walnuts (Juglans regia) which were effective September 30, 1939.
* The walnut color chart was filed with F. R. Doc. 58–10550 and is available for inspec. tion in the Division of the Federal Register or in the Fruit and vegetable
Division, Unlted States Department of Agriculture, South Building, Washington 25, D. C. Printed copies of this color
chart are attached to each copy of these standards issued by the United States Department of Agriculture.