Excerpt from Annual Report of the Department of Agriculture: For the Year Ending November 30, 1923
1. Apple Grading. - The law on apple grading and packing, which appears as sections 100 to 114 of Chapter 94 of the General Laws, has been in force for eight years. Experience indicates that some amendments to the law are desirable. Complaints have been made against the requirement of section 102 that other marks than those indicating the grade shall not be more conspicuous on the package than the marks required by law, because this requirement limits the use of colored brands, labels and private marks. It seems sufficient that the marks required by law shall be according to the law and the regulations made by this department pursuant to the law, and the repeal of the requirement in question is therefore recommended.
As the law now reads, it does not state specifically at what time and by whom closed packages shall be marked. An amendment to section 104 is recommended to make such marking obligatory upon the packer or repacker at the time of packing or repacking.
2. Inspection of Dairy Products. - The division of Dairying and Animal Husbandry finds its authority under section 14 of chapter 128 of the General Laws inadequate for the enforcement of laws relating to substitutes for butter. It is recommended that this section be strengthened so as to make the work of the department in this field more effective, and that provision be made for the issuance of search warrants for oleomargarine in imitation of yellow butter.
3. Marking of Milk Cans and Containers. - By sections 2 and 3 of chapter 45, acts of 1921, the use of cans or containers not marked with their capacity and properly sealed, in the purchase or sale of milk or cream at wholesale, is forbidden from January 1, 1924.A considerable number of unmarked cans, purchased before this law went into effect, are still in the possession of milk dealers and contractors, and will not be all beyond usefulness at the time when their further use is forbidden. Most of these cans are not used as measures, but simply as containers for milk purchased by weight. New cans supplied for the wholesale milk business are all marked and sealed as the law requires. In order to avoid imposing a hardship upon such dealers and contractors as have not been able to dispose of their former style cans, it is recommended that the time limit on their use in connection with purchases or sales of milk and cream by weight be extended until January 1, 1927.
4. Report on the Birds of Massachusetts. - In order that the illustrations for this report, authorized by chapter 5, Resolves of 1921, may be completed, and the first volume published, further authority is necessary. It is also desirable to provide for the distribution of the report. A resolve to meet these requirements is accordingly recommended.
5. Amendments to the Reclamation Law. - No extensive changes in this law, passed at the last session, appear to be desirable. The law now requires a majority of the proprietors of a tract subject to the law to sign the petition to the Reclamation Board, and to vote at the organization meeting. The requirement that a majority shall petition seems unnecessary, and it is proposed to change this provision so that any two or more proprietors may do this.
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