Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

SUMMATION OF FINDINGS

The over-all findings of this test were as follows:

In 159 restaurants, not indicating on their walls or on their menu whether the spread product served was butter, oleomargarine, or some other substitute having the physical appearance of butter or oleomargarine, samples of the product served when subjected to laboratory tests gave the following indications:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Thus, in 159 restaurants chosen at random in eight cities, none of which have posted information concerning the type of spread served, 106 or 66.7 percent serve products identified in tests as butter, while 53 or 33.3 percent serve products identified in tests as oleomargarine or a butter substitute.

The accompanying data describes in detail the procedure of the survey in the field, the method of testing specimens, and contains the reports rendered by the United States Testing Co., Inc., an independent reputable testing laboratory chosen by Fact Finders Associates, Inc., to conduct the testing phase of the study. Specimens of all materials used for instruction of investigators and for accumulation of information are shown.

We will be happy to provide any further information you require, and which may be available concerning this test, its operations, and its findings. Cordially yours,

FACT FINDERS ASSOCIATES, INC. The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Barker, do you believe that posting and notice on the menus would have reduced the amount of oleomargarine used?

Mrs. BARKER. I am not sure about that, Senator, but I do think that at least it would give the protection to the customers of knowing what they were buying.

The CHAIRMAN. You believe the customer has the right to know? - : Mrs. BARKER. I think they have the right to know what is being served to them.

You may be interested in knowing something of the method used in making these tests. The investigators were instructed not to take any restaurants which they knew to be members of large chain operations, and they were also instructed to make tests in at least four hotel coffee shops, and when they went in looking for the signs, either on the menu or someplace in the room, they did not take a test in any of the operations where it showed very plainly that they were serving something as a substitute for butter, and then when they asked and gave their order, they definitely asked for two pats of butter, and then sent the samples in under refrigeration for testing.

Senator LUCAS. Do I understand that those tests were made and showed that fraud was being used in these restaurants ?

[ocr errors]

а

Mrs. BARKER. It would depend upon the State laws, Senator Lucas. In some of the States mentioned in these cities chosen at random, it would not have been against the State law. But the point I am trying to make is that I feel, and I think that we have much overused the word "consumer" but nevertheless, shall we say the customers in our eating establishments have the protection of receiving the food that they are asking for and paying for, and I think the fraud involved would be in connection with this where the customer actually asked for butter, and was served a substitute without knowing that they were being served that.

Senator BARKLEY. The question as to whether a restaurant shall have any sort of notice or warning that they serve a substitute for butter is a matter for local regulation. The imposition or the removal of this tax would not have any effect on that, would it?

Mrs. BARKER. Only insomuch, Senator, as cutting down the supply of a colored product which is a direct imitation of another product.

Senator BARKLEY. On the theory that if I go into a restaurant and know I am getting oleomargarine instead of butter, I would not want it, assuming that I preferred butter. I am not passing on that question at the moment. But whether there is a tax or not, a tax has no effect on the local regulation as to notice, warning, or anything of that sort which is under State laws.

Mrs. BARKER. That is right.

The CHAIRMAN. There were suggestions yesterday, and I repeat them for the benefit of the butter people who were not here yesterday, the view that under the so-called Sullivan case, the Shreveport rate case, Supreme Court cases that have arisen out of the Price Adjustment and Marketing Acts, the Federal Government could move into the whole field of regulation, even in intrastate commerce of these products. We invited further comment on that subject from the oleo people, and will be glad to have any comments that the butter people wish to supply.

(The information will be found on p. 287.)

Mrs. BARKER. Senator Millikin, I was here and heard those comments, and I am sure that in the witnesses who are following me, someone will cover that I would rather not take their time for it.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.

Mrs. BARKER. I hope, and so do the sponsors of this survey, that no one will interpret the findings as being unduly critical of the restaurant industry. Actually I do not believe there is any industry that is doing more to improve the services they are rendering to the public. Actually the deceptive practices uncovered and reported in this report have been aided and abetted by the unfair propaganda which has been flooding newspaper and editorial columns during the past 10 years. In every case in this survey the customer requested butter and in the instances named received something else.

It is indeed hard to blame restaurant owners for these deceptions when some have been led by oleo propaganda to believe that they were doing a public service by joining in the clamor against butter.

But the fact remains that some restaurants and eating places are already deceiving their customers by serving them oleo in place of butter. This in itself, as has been said, is no violation of a Federal statute, but it certainly proves that where yellow oleomargarine is

that year.

readily available its substitution for butter is easily accomplished. It is more important to remember that than to defend or criticize the eating places for their practice.

Clearly, the frauds reported in this survey indicate the existence of a national problem that cannot be ignored. I would like to give you the figures, they are not in my manuscript, of the latest report we have had from the United States Health Service. We know in 1947

. there were 24,000,000,000 meals served in public eating places during

They suggest that the Senate take no action on the oleo legislation until an exhaustive survey of this problem has been completed and recommendations for dealing with it developed by recognized authorities. The committee should remember that this survey deals only with conditions found in eight selected cities, which may or may not be typical of the deception that already is being practiced. Survey and analysis of conditions in dozens and dozens of cities would be necessary before sufficient evidence could be gathered for development of adequate controls.

I imagine that you are familiar with this little box. I was told that it was sent to you all. Just as a matter of demonstration to show you, we have within the boxes

Senator Lucas. They neglected me.

Mrs. BARKER. Did they! I will give you this, Senator, when I get through, and I will try not to damage it.

Senator Lucas. I just want butter.

Senator BARKLEY. I got that package, but it is still in my office unopened. Is it liable to spoil ?

Mrs. BARKER. I think you should have it refrigerated. There is perfectly good pure food here, both margarine and butter, but this is what I would like to show you, because I think it bears out the thing that I have been talking about, that actually there are two packages, one is olemorgarine, one is butter. They are both in butter packets. If I had had time from a consumer's standpoint of the purchasing agent of a family of 10 persons, I would like to have gone further into the possibility of substitution on our grocery shelves and other places.

The CHAIRMAN. Are they sold that way, both in the same butter package?

Mrs. BARKER. No, no, this was definitely put in a butter carton, Senator, so that the similarity in the color would be shown, but from a restaurateur's standpoint I would just like to do this.

Senator Lucas. Why would you put them in the same package? The CHAIRMAN. Did you bring any bread with you? Mrs. BARKER. No. Maybe there is someone here representing the Bakers Institute or something that would like to offer the bread.

Senator Lucas. Why does the margarine appear in the same kind of carton there? I do not understand that.

Mrs. BARKER. Senator Lucas, the cartons were made up with the definite idea of showing how very easy it would be to substitute part of the butter carton with margarine.

Senator GEORGE. In that case, who was doing the deception ?

Mrs. BARKER. Nobody was attempting to do any deceiving, Senator George.

a

Senator HAWKES. You do not claim that those, that oleo is marketed that way. You are simply trying to demonstrate a point.

Mrs. BARKER. That is exactly what I am trying to do.
Senator HAWKES. To the committee and to the people here.

Mrs. BARKER. I am sure the reason the boxes were sent to the Senators, and we will see that you get one, Senator Lucas, what I would like to show you is that here we have two supposedly pats of butter, or at least a spread that would be served in a restaurant. We could go into a number of pats of butter.

The CHAIRMAN. On which side did you cut it more generously?

Mrs. BARKER. Frankly, I do not know. I could not tell the difference, and I doubt very much if you people could.

Senator BARKLEY. Can you tell the difference when you taste it? Mrs. BARKER. I do not know.

Senator THYE. May I interrupt there in order that the Senator may have an opportunity to determine whether he can tell the difference? One of those is oleomargarine; the other is butter. I would suggest that Mrs. Barker permit the Senator to taste both pats and let him be the judge. Mrs. BARKER. I would be very happy to.

. The CHAIRMAN. I am going to hear the evidence, but not eat it.

Senator Lucas. If you cannot tell the difference, there is no chance for a Senator to tell the difference because you are in the restaurant business.

Mrs. BARKER. Well, quite frankly, Senator, I have never served anything but butter in my restaurant.

Senator MARTIN. I would want a little apple butter along with it, being from Pennsylvania.

Mrs. BARKER, We had one of the representatives of the Agricultural Committee that demanded to have maple sirup with his, too.

The CHAIRMAN. As I understand it, we are supposed to throw the pat away and eat the saucer; is that it?

Mrs. BARKER. That is right.

Seriously, as I say, I am speaking from a restaurateur standpoint, and I am reminded you have the number of meals that are served in public eating places to our people every year.

There is no more helpless person in the world than the customer in a commercial dining room. There is absolutely no opportunity for him to see the food in the package. He just sees, in this case, the square pat of butter on his plate or the spread on his sandwich or toast.

Cafeterias perhaps you might say would find it difficult to deceive, but colored margarine on the cafeteria counter would look just like butter.

I want to be assured when I eat away from home that I am getting the food I have asked for and am willing to pay for. That is the right of every one of the 65,000,000 customers per day in this country, and with the case in question, I feel certain that these customers' confidence would be sadly shaken if they were not protected under the law, and, as I see it, the only sure protection is the retention of the present laws concerning the sale of colored margarine.

The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you this. I know that it can be done in the more expensive restaurants because it often is done, but would it be practicable in the smaller restaurants to put an imprint on the pat of whatever it may be!

Mrs. BARKER. You mean right on the little pat of butter that they are having?

The CHAARMAN. An imprint.
Mrs. BARKER. I do not believe it would be practical.

The CHAIRMAN. For example, there are several hotels in town that put the initial of the hotel on the butter. Would it be possible to do something of that kind ?

Mrs. BARKER. I think it would be an impractical thing to do simply because where our smaller operators are buying their products, it may not be possible for them to buy it in that form.

The CHAIRMAN. I mean could they themselves put it on?
Mrs. BARKER. I think it would be very difficult for them to do.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Mrs. BARKER. Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. The next witness is Joseph Fichter, master of the Ohio State Grange.

Will you please identify yourself for the record:

STATEMENT OF JOSEPH W. FICHTER, MASTER OF THE OHIO STATE

GRANGE, OXFORD, OHIO, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL GRANGE

Mr. FICHTER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Joseph W. Fichter and I live at Oxford, Ohio. I am ast of the Ohio State Grange and chaplain of the National Grange. I appear before you today as a representative both for the Ohio State Grange and the National Grange. The Ohio State Grange has a membership of more than 116,000, and the National Grange has a membership of over 800,000.

Unfortunately, the consideration of H. R. 2245, which proposes to repeal the Federal tax on oleo, has been marked by sharp differences of opinion between farmers and city residents and between the dairy areas and the nondairy areas of the country. Also, the bill has been incorrectly characterized as being primarily a struggle between the oleo manufacturers and the butter manufacturers. Furthermore, the attitude of levity noticeable in the remarks of many who have commented on the bill has tended to detract from the importance of the issues involved.

Inherent in this bill are some issues that are fundamental in connection with our future policy regarding agriculture.

Members of the Congress should not be placed in a situation in which it is necessary for them to choose between the wishes of farmers and city people. I am confident that when city residents become fully informed about the issues involved in this legislation they will be as much opposed to it as the farmers are. This is not a choice between city and farm. · The decision that Members of Congress face is one of choosing between a time tested conservation practice as an incentive to a permanent supply of food for the future, on the one hand, and on the other hand, a policy which has the misleading appearance of cutting the consumer's food bill temporarily but which our children will later

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »