June 19, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Under the interpretation of the law we believe that this process butter could not be called a substitute for butter. It might come under the actual meaning of the word ' butter.' That difficulty has occurred in the United States and they have had to provide special legislation there dealing with it. The history of dairy legislation in the United States may be a warning to us and a guide as to what we have to do here. In the United States they did not prohibit the manufacture of oleomargarine and butterine, and no doubt that fact has contributed very largely to the discredit which the foreign market has always attached to the dairy products of the United States in comparison with the high reputation which Canadian dairy products have had. I have no hesitation in saying most emphatically, that the course of the United States people in permitting various substitutes for butter to be manufactured in that country, and their system of tinkering with their dairy products, has tended materially to keep down the reputation of these products in the markets of the world. The action of this parliament long ago in prohibiting the manufacture, importation, and sale of oleomargarine has helped materially to keep up the reputation of our butter in foreign markets as well as at home. This is a new thing that has come up in connection with the butter business of this country, and it is wise for us to nip it in the bud before it has assumed proportions that will hurt our trade. The vested interests in the United

States have become so great that they do not seem to be able to prohibit the manufacture and sale of adulterated butter as we have done, but they have provided a licensing system which no doubt will protect the public to some extent from being deceived. We could do that, but I think our best course is to forbid the manufacture of this butter at once. If we allow it to go on for even another year we will find established industries here, and we may be confronted with the same difficulties that confront our neighbours on the other side of the line. It is I believe the part of wisdom and prudence to take the thing in hand at the very beginning and to proceed against it drastically. We have been very fortunate in Canada in the general purity, and I may call it, the immaculate reputation of our dairy products. Filled cheese and imitation butter are unknown in Canada while they are common in the United States, and the result is that our dairy products have a higher reputation than theirs. Let us take immediate steps to conserve the interests of our dairy products and to ensure that this process butter is not allowed to be manufactured here so as to hurt them. This is the main feature of the Bill, and the other details of it are to secure a proper marking of butter. We have dairy butter and creamery butter. Coming from certain people dairy butter is quite good, but at the same time the creamery butter lias a standing on the market which dairy butter has not. I am sorry to say we have a number of complaints that dairy butter is being sold as creamery, with the risk of hurting the reputation of creamery butter. Let me say most emphatically that there is a large amount of dairy butter which is just as good as creamery butter, but under the heading of dairy butter there is a large quantity of butter accumulated at country stores in rolls and small packages which is afterwards re-packed and sold. Under this Bill that could not come under the definition of creamery butter.

Topic:   ADULTERATION OF BUTTER.
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