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There are any number of questions that all of us,
am sure, would like to ask you, which we will have tr defer for later witnesses. And I am reasonably certain that before we take finai action on this legislation we will have time to consult with you again, following your return from Europe.
Mr. Duxn. Mr. Chairman, may I suggest this: In September, after you have completed these hearings, if you want any answers to specific questions from our standpoint, or if you want us to submit a revision of this Administration bill, we will be glad to do it, because we want to cooperate in every way to expedite the enactment of this amendment. We are sorry it will not be enacted at the present session of Congress.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Thank you very much, Mr. Dunn, and the committee hopes you have a very pleasant trip to Europe. The committee will stand in adjournment until 10 o'clock. (Whereupon,
at 12:05 p. m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconTene at 10 a. m., Tuesday, July 16, 1957.)
And on that point I am quite firm in my own belief that it should be reasonably modified; and other revisions will be submitted.
You can see, as a layman, I think we can all see, that you should not practically require a manufacturer to do any more than this, from the standpoint of an appropriate scientific investigation by experts: First, to consult the available scientific literature on the point. This is what they do, anyhow.
Secondly, to consult available scientific experts who are competent to advise on the question.
Now, if you have a clearance from both of these sources, you should be in a position to go ahead, whereas the amendment as it is now drawn says, in effect, that you cannot use an additive unless it is generally recognized by all scientific experts, who are qualified on this subject, as safe for use under the conditions of its intended use. Does it mean scientists in Europe, for example!
I am counsel individually for many food manufacturers. We cannot go all over the United States picking out every single scientist that there is who might have some knowledge of this subject, and then reach a conclusion that, on the basis of their advice, it is safe
And pre certainly cannot consult the scientists in Europe who are qualified, equally qualified.
It is just commonsense that this formula in the definition of "food additives” should be limited to the point that the manufacturer should only be required, first, to consult the available scientific literature in point, which is in every good scientific library; and, secondly, that he should consult competent scientific experts on this question.
But when you tell him he must consult everybody, why, it is impossible. And that is literally what this definition says. It has been in the law all these years, I realize that.
I am counsel for the pharmaceutical industry as well, and when it was added to the ner drug lav in 1938 we did not object to it because that new drug lao went through so fast, because of the tragic accidents with some elixir out in Tennessee was pressing Congress to enact a new drug law at once, and there was practically no consideration by the Congress.
Mr. HESELTOX. Mr. Chairman, one question.
I notice on page 17 the word "prolonged" in parentheses as a sug: gested amendment. Do you intend to include that in the suggested amendment? Mr. Dunx. No, sir. I suggest that it be excluded, simply because the generic question here, the basic question, is whether any use has
Mr. Heseltox. You could leave it "through use in or on food" !
Mr. Donn. That is enough, because there are considerations other than time which enter into this question.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Are there any further questions of Mr. Dunn!
Mr. Dunn, the House is in session, and it is going to be necessary for the committee to adjourn.
We would like to thank you very much for your comprehensive and clear testimony which was given to us this morning. I think a lot of us, myself included, have a new appreciation of the problem we are confronted with in this additive field.
There are any number of questions that all of us, I am sure, would like to ask you, which we will have tr defer for later witnesses. And I am reasonably certain that before we take finai action on this legislation we will have time to consult with you again, following your return from Europe.
Mr. Duxn. Mr. Chairman, may I suggest this: In September, after you have completed these hearings, if you want any answers to specific questions from our standpoint, or if you want us to submit a revision of this Administration bill, we will be glad to do it, because we want to cooperate in erery way to expedite the enactment of this amendment. We are sorry it will not be enacted at the present session of Congress.
Mr. WILLIAMS. Thank you very much, Mr. Dunn, and the committee hopes you have a very pleasant trip to Europe. The committee will stand in adjournment until 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12:05 p. m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconTene at 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 16, 1957.)
TUESDAY, JULY 16, 1957
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND SCIENCE
Washington, D. c. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 a. 1m., in room 1334, Yew Hlouse Odlice Building, Ilon. Jolin Bell Williams presiding.
Wr. WILLIAMS. The committee will be in order.
This morning it is our pleasure to have with us Dr. R. Blackwell Smith, president, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Va.
Dr. Smith is testifying at the invitation of the subcommittee in order to present to the subcommittee some technical background information for chemical additive legislation. Speaking for myself, I feel greatly in need of being educated as to just what scientists re doing when they undertake to test the safety of chemicals whose addition to some food is contemplated by some food manufacturers or processors.
I would like to know something about the scientific disciplines which are involved in such tests; what kind of tests are made; what the considerations are which are involved in the evaluation of these tests; whether the measurements used in these tests are exact or whether educated guesses are involved on which scientists may differ.
I beliere that probably most of the other members of the subcommittee are in the same position in which I find myself. I feel that we cannot pass any intelligent judgment on the bills before us unless we have at least a ininimum of an understanding of the scientfic problems involved.
Therefore, we are very happy that Dr. Smith has kindly consented to undertake the difficult task of trying to give this committee soine background information in the field of chemical additives.
I understand that Dr. Smith is a member of the Food Protection Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, and I would like for him to explain for the record in a few words the history and purposes of that Committee, and what it has done so far in this field.
In this connection, I would like to take a moment to refer briefly to the announcement which I made previously that a panel of scientists vould testify before this subcommittee on the scientific aspects of chemical additives.
On June 26, 1957, I addressed a letter to the National Academy of Sciences requesting the selection of such a panel and the designation of an impartial chairman to lead such a panel discussion.
At this point in the record, I am including a copy of my letter to Dr. Detlev W. Bronk, President of the National Academy of Sciences.
(The letter referred to is as follows:) Dr. DETLEV W. BRONK, Prcsident, National Acadeony of Sciences,
Washington, D. O. DEAB DR. BRONK: The Subcommittee on Health and Science has pending before it a number of bills dealing with food additives. Hearings on these bills are contemplated for the second half of July.
As you know, food additives have been the subject of extensive hearings in previous Congresses but so far no legislation has resulted because of continuing disagreement with respect to legal and governmental problems involved in this legislation.
It is my intention, in the hearings before the subcommittee, to have the scientific problems underlying this legislation discussed separate and apart from the governmental and legal aspects.
I recall that during the 84th Congress, when controrersial scientific questions arose with regard to the safety and efficacy of the Salk vaccine, you assisted the committee in selecting a representative papel of experts qualified to discuss the scientific problems involved and in suggesting an impartial chairman who presided over the panel discussion.
The Salk. vaccine presentation papel was outstanding in erery respect. A similar discussion of the complex scientinc probleins inrolved in the case of food additires appears to be an excellent method of presenting to the members of the subcommittee, the Congress, and the general public, the scientifc background of the pending bills.
I would therefore like to request your assistance in selecting a panel of experts and suggesting an impartial chairman for the purpose of discussing before the subcominittee the scientific problems involved in testing and evaluating the safety of food additives.
It would seem to be that the procedure to be followed by the papel might be morleled after the procedure followed in the case of the Salk vaccine panel Each panel meinber would be giren an opportunity to make a brief statement, to be followed, under the guidance of the impartial chairman, bs questions from other panel members and members of the subcommittee.
I have requested Jr. Kurt Borchardt of the committee start to assist you and the panel in any possible way in preparing for these hearings, and I would like to suggest that you feel free to call upon him to arrange for all necessary details.
Other pressing committee business unfortunatels prerents me at this time froni setting a definite date for the panel discussion. As I have indicated earlier, I anticipate that the bearings will take place during the latter part of July. As soon as I am in a position to do so I shall communicate with you further with regard to a definite date for the panel discussion, and I hope that in the meantime you will he able to make at least a tentative selection of the panel Denibers and the panel chairman. With kindest regards, I am, Sincerely yours,
Joox BELL WILLIAMS,
Chairman, Subcommittee on #calth and Science. Mr. WILLIANS. On July 2, 1957, Dr. Cornell replied to my letter of June 26, and I was glad to learn that the Academy was willing to undertake the task of suggesting such a panel and selecting an impartial chairman.
Unfortunately, the several scientists suggested by the Academy to serve as impartial chairman or alternates were unarailable on the dates for which the panel discussion was originally scheduled, namely, July 15 and 16.
In view of the fact that the session of the Congress is drawing to a close, the subcommittee did not want to postpone these hearings, although the subcommittee would have preferred to open these hear. ings with the panel discussion as originally scheduled
As things now stand, we are planning to hold the panel discussion at a later date, and we are trying to get in touch with the scientist