« ПретходнаНастави »
ment with the representative of the Farm Bureau, maybe you both can come up
here. Mr. Datt. Mr. Chairman, I have a very brief statement that I can file for the record.
We are in support of H. R. 11056 and urge that the subcommittee act favorably on it and that it be enacted, and I will file the rest of our statement for the record.
Mr. HAGEN. Thank you very much, Mr. Datt, and we certainly appreciate your being here.
(The statement referred to is as follows:) STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION BY JOHN C. DATT,
ASSISTANT LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR We appreciate the opportunity to present the views of the American Farm Bureau Federation to this subcommittee regarding H. R. 11056.
The American Farm Bureau is quite interested in the various marketing order programs developed under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act. We have assisted agricultural producers on numerous occasions in the development of such programs. Whenever growers have expressed an interest, we have attempted, through educational and other discussion-type meetings, to create a better understanding of the use of marketing agreement programs.
We have viewed the use of marketing agreement programs as a means of providing more orderly marketing of agricultural commodities. They are not the panacea to all the problems of agricultural producers who use them, but can be an effective marketing tool.
It is because of this interest in marketing agreement programs that we would like to comment on H. R. 11056.
The American Farm Bureau Federation favors the enactment of H. R. 11056. As we understand it, this legislation would add a number of additional commodities, to the present list of commodities in the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act that require imported commodities to meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality, and maturity provisions as those in effect under a domestic marketing order.
We do not believe it unreasonable to require that commodities imported into this country meet the same quality standards that our domestic producers imposed upon themselves under a Federal marketing order program. If lower standards exist for the imported commodities, it tends to defeat the purpose of the quality control and orderly marketing programs which the marketing order program was designed to establish.
We do not believe this requirement is unreasonable in its application to products imported into the United States. To our knowledge, the use of this requirement for those commodities for which such authority is now provided in the act has worked well. We would, therefore, recommend the passage of H. R. 11056 and hope you will give it early favorable consideration.
We appreciate the opportunity to present our views on this subject.
Mr. Hagen. Now, Mr. Grady, you are the director of the California Fig Institute. We only have about 10 minutes, Mr. Grady, at the very maximum.
STATEMENT OF DWIGHT K. GRADY, DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA FIG
Mr. Grady. I have no statement prepared, Mr. Chairman.
My name is Dwight K. Grady and I am the managing director of the California Fig Institute at Fresno, Calif.
Mr. Chairman, it was a matter of amazement to me to read the transcript of your hearings of February 25 and to find out that the argument was directed two
ways. First, that this is a restrictive measure. It is nothing of the sort. If the product meets the standards of American consumer acceptance, if by certification it meets that standard, that is consistent with the frequent enunciations of policy by the Congress.
The industry operates under a marketing agreement, a Federal marketing agreement established pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937 which states as a policy that it is the intent of Congress to provide means of orderly marketing.
The two devices principally used under these marketing orders are those of quality regulation and of volume control.
Our order provides for both. Our principal control, however, is one of quality. We divert anywhere up to 25 percent of our crop of orchard run fruit from the market for human consumption in order to attain and maintain these quality standards.
We think that it is only equitable and fair and indeed in the interest of such as Mr. Halliday's organization, the National Biscuit Co. and I am not speaking for them, but we cannot understand how a company of that high standard or any other for that matter, would apparently oppose the guaranty that they would receive under this in a lot-by-lot inspection of an impartial governmental agency, namely, the United States Department of Agriculture, that the quality standards were met and that imports were on an equivalent basis to our domestic standards.
Certainly in the case of figs nothing but good can come from the orderly marketing of both imported and domestically produced merchandise.
Now, some one of your witnesses here this morning recommended advertising. Well, obviously it would be a complete waste of moneyand we do advertise, incidentally-it would be a complete waste of money to advertise to the consumer, to seek to persuade the consumer to accept the product if we were unwilling to guarantee that the quality of the product itself reaching the consumer met the standards described in the advertising, that is quite an obvious conclusion.
We feel certain that this legislation would benefit, this proposal will be of benefit to the California fig industry and indeed to the entire commerce in figs.
About 20 percent of the American requirements, from 20 to 30 percent of the American requirement is imported annually. We have been partially instrumental in the past, indeed, in increasing that percentage by advertising and increasing consumer acceptance in cooperation with many of the biscuit manufacturers of this country, so that & large tonnage has been imported. In other words, we have done the advertising to promote the business, but the other fellow has done the business.
Now, I merely throw that in because that idea has been advanced.
I would like to file for the committee with your indulgence, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, a copy of the regulatory announcements of the United States Food and Drug Administration dated March 10, 1927, which is the only published announcement we have any knowledge of with regard to the standards that the Food and Drug Administration enforces in the importation and testing of figs.
I have also attached to that a brief discussion of the difference between this regulatory announcement and the standards set forth in Order No. 64 which is the Federal dried fig marketing order, so that you may understand that the industry as they are published are higher than the so-called Food and Drug announcements that I have filed
Mr. Hagen. Mr. Grady, that will be made part of the record at the conclusion of your testimony.
Mr. GRADY. Thank you, sir.
I should also like to address one remark to your transcript of the hearings of the 25th of February in which I find myself quoted from a transcript in an order hearing in Fresno in 1954. This quotation is lifted out of context from the transcript of that public hearing and it was discussing a matter not related at all to the issue before us here today. That answer is quoted on page 32 of the transcript, to Mr. Martin, and was responsive to a question as to whether we would recommend or advocate discriminatory standards between varieties, and my answer, as this thing states, was not that we would apply the same qualitative limitation on Mission or Adriatic figs or Kadota figs or Calimyrna figs in dried form, and this would seem to indicate or at least, I cannot find any other purpose in introducing this statement in that hearing record but one, to indicate we were doing something contrary to what our proposal is in this bill.
This bill would simply adopt and apply to imported figs the same standards that are applied in the domestic industry and without that we do not see how we can ever attain any of the objectives of orderly marketing or that we can build up-because we do subscribe to the principle that the consumer interest and consumer acceptance responds proportionately the higher the standard you go and we would like, as a matter of fact, as time goes on and technologies are improved, to raise our standards because we do feel we will get greater consumer acceptance as we do elevate those standards.
Now, without some recognition of the principle that Congress has already expressed and then enacted into law with respect to a number of other commodities, we feel that is the only sound way we can protect our own domestic market, which we supply, up to 70 or 80 percent of it, by giving a consumer a consistent, dependable, quality product, and that this will be no hardship.
We have licked the problems in the California industry. We know that many of the foreign producers—and Turkey was mentioned; that is true; Turkey has attained a high standard and has a fine quality product and I would anticipate that they would never have any difficulty under this proposed bill that some of the others might have, because it has been shown the quality in some instances is not dependable as from some of the other sources.
I think that concludes my statement.
Mr. Sisk. No; just to say that I am very happy to have Mr. Grady here. He is a very able and capable witness, certainly, with reference to figs, and I am glad to have his statement.
(Documents submitted by Mr. Grady are as follows:) Question No. 4. Is the present quality control under the Federal order stricter than Food and Drug?
Pure food regulatory announcement (copy attached) establishing a tolerance for defects in dried figs was published in a notice to packers, importers, and dealers on March 10, 1927, to become effective July 1, 1927. This regulation is still in effect. The tolerance established a 10-percent limit for figs showing any
distinct evidence of mold, fermentation, larvae, worm, or insect action. The tolerance further prohibited the presence of active infestation “except to a very slight extent." The announcement declared that figs exceeding the tolerance would render such shipments subject to regulatory action. Section 964.90 of Federal order No. 64, regulating the handling of dried figs produced in California, as amended, provides for minimum standards of dried figs and establishes as defective figs individual specimens of dried figs or separate pieces of sliced dried figs which are classified as insect infested (either dead or alive), moldy, sour, filthy, or worthless. Subparagraph 2 of paragraph C of section 964.90, prescribing the minimum standard for outgoing quality control, establishes a maximum limit of 5 percent of figs defined as "insect infested" and a further maximum limit of 13 insect heads per 100 grams for sliced dried figs or fig paste.
It will be observed that the Food and Drug regulatory announcement establishes a limit of 10 percent for a combination of defects or for any single defect. Since the principal problem affecting figs is that of insect infestation, this means that figs legal for shipment under the regulatory announcement could contain 10 percent of insect-infested fruit. Since two-thirds of the California production is disposed of as sliced figs or fig paste, the 5-percent tolerance established under the order for insect infestation is more restrictive than the Food and Drug regu. lation. Moreover, the Food and Drug regulation makes no references or restrictive provisions with respect to insect heads which may be present in sliced figs or fig paste affecting the major volume of California production. This limitation establishes a different and more severe restriction under the marketing order than that named in the Food and Drug announcement. Beyond all this, the Federal marketing order provides that every lot of figs prepared or offered for shipment shall meet the requirements of the order which are enforced by continuous inspection resulting in the inspection and certification of every lot intended for shipment or shipped. The Food and Drug Administration, by the very nature of the limitations under which it operates, cannot and does not maintain such continuous inspection of all fruit introduced in intra- and inter-state commerce and, in this sense, also, marketing-order controls on outgoing quality are substantially more restrictive than are Food and Drug regulations.
This comparison of Food and Drug regulations and marketing-order quality controls has been made at the point where Food and Drug regulations are effective, and that is at the point where dried figs are introduced into commerce by packers. The Food and Drug Administration does not operate inspection procedures relating to deliveries by growers to packers, and, therefore, no comparison of Food and Drug regulations and those of the Federal marketing order are possible in this area of incoming quality controls. Control of incoming quality from the grower to the packer is exclusively provided under the Federal marketing order. Section 964.90 contains the minimum standards for acceptance by packers of growers' deliveries. It is at this point volume control that is substantial is exercised under the Federal marketing order through quality control, as authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended.
(Dried Figs—Pure Food Regulatory Announcement Concerning 10 Percent
NOTICE TO PACKERS OF Figs, IMPORTERS AND DEALERS
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY,
Washington, D. C., March 10, 1927. It is well known that figs are subject to deterioration, due to attacks of the larvae of the fig moth, and, similarly, to a limited extent, to the attacks of other larvae, worms, or insects. Further, under unfavorable conditions they are subject to deterioration, due to mold growth, particularly internal mold, and also are subject to fermentation and souring.
The Federal Food and Drugs Act states: "Sec. 7. That for the purposes of this act, an article shall be deemed to be adulterated: *** In the case of Food: *** Sixth. If it consist in whole or in part of a filthy, decomposed, or putrid animal or vegetable substance ***" Further, Section 11 of the act states that if "any article of food or drug offered to be imported into the United States is adulterated * * * within the meaning of this act * * * the said article shall be refused admission * * *.” Section 2 and Section 10 of the act provide for legal action against adulterated goods which are imported, which are shipped in interstate commerce, or which are offered to export.
Figs showing any decided evidence of mold growth or fermentation are considered decomposed within the meaning of the act. Similarly, figs showing evidence of the action of larvae, worms, or insects are considered filthy within the meaning of the act.
For the guidance of officials engaged in enforcing the Federal Food and Drugs Act, the Department will issue instructions to bring action against any shipment of figs containing in excess of a total of 10 percent of figs showing distinct evi. dence of mold, fermentation, larvae, worm, or insect action. This tolerance will become effective on and after July 1, 1927.
The 10-percent tolerance above mentioned is applicable solely to a condition where an active infestation of the product with live larvae, worms, or insects does not exist, except to a very slight extent. An active infestation, even though live larvae are present in less than 10 percent of the figs, will render shipments subject to action.
The 10-percent tolerance will be used to cover all figs showing internal evidence of the action of larvae, i. e., figs which show internal excreta, figs in which the larvae are dead and dried, and figs containing live larvae (if the percentage of figs containing live larvae is small). The last two classes are the ones not frequently met, the presence of internal excreta being the main evidence of larvae infestation commonly found. The total tolerance also will include all figs showing internal evidence of mold action or figs which have become sour or fermented. It will, further, cover figs showing any material evidence of external mold or of webby condition, or showing excreta on the exterior of the figs.
When action has been taken against shipments, either imported or entering interstate commerce, sorting to remove the objectionable portions, with consequent release of the good portion, will be permitted in all those cases where such sorting is, in fact, practicable. It will include a removal, as far as possible, of figs showing internal action of mold or larvae and of all figs showing live larvae, with processing to kill and remove external larvae and all exterior webby condition, slight mold, or excreta found on the exterior of the figs.
In order to insure a suitable product for packing, the attacks of the fig moth, or similar moth, should be guarded against as much as possible, as well as those conditions tending to produce mold growth or fermentation. If the figs to some extent become so affected, the goods should be thoroughly sorted to remove such objectionable figs before packing is undertaken. A survey covering many shipments of this product shows that, if such suitable precautions are taken, the tolerance now announced is reasonable, and, in fact, represents no more than the minimum requirements of good trade practice.
(Signed) P. B. DUNBAR,
Assistant Chief. Mr. Hagen. I would like to introduce in the record a letter dated March 4, 1958, from the Association of Food Distributors, signed by Mr. Schoonmaker, executive secretary; also a letter received from the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, dated March 4, 1958; together with certain attachments showing what products are subject to marketing orders and what some of the requirements of those orders are. (The documents referred to are as follows:)
ASSOCIATION OF FOOD DISTRIBUTORS, INC.,
New York, N. Y., March 4, 1958. Hon. HARLAN HAGEN, Chairman, Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: This letter is written on behalf of the import merchants' and import agents' divisions of this association and, particularly, those members who are engaged in the importation of dates and date products and figs and fig products. The members of the imported nut section of this association are making their own representation on behalf of imported nuts.
We desire to protest most emphatically against enactment of H. R. 7760, which was introduced by Congressman Sisk, or 8. R. 7937, which was introduced by Congressman Saund, because of their provisions for transferring inspection of