probably 2 cents per pound, $1,600,000; the present 2-cent tax, aggre-
gating $1,660,000 more, and the average cost of materials, probably 8
cents per pound, and we have a total cost of 83,000,000 pounds of oleo-
margarine, according to Swift & Co., as follows :
Interest on capital, cost of handling, as shown in foregoing table $20, 850, 000
Cost of manufacturing 1, 660, 000
Cost of 2-cent tax ., 1,660,000
Cost of raw material, at 8 cents per pound 6, 640, 000
Paid for wholesale, retail, and manufacturer's licenses (estimated) 300, 000
Total cost of 83,000,000 pounds 29,110,000
Or, to reduce it to pounds and cents, it requires an expenditure of
35.06 cents to produce a pound of oleomargarine, which, the same tirm
says a little further along, "sells at an average of 10 cents per pound " !
What does Congress think of such an attempt to mislead its members
upon this matter?
Were not the statement of Swift & Co. made ridiculous in itself by
the claims of the importance of the oleomargarine traffic, their plea
might find an answer in the counterclaim that every man employed in
the oleomargarine traffic displaces at least three men who hitherto had
found employment upon the farm, and that the greater the showing
made by this industry the greater the necessity for Congressional
action to check a growth which is prima facie illegal.
THE INGREDIENTS OP OLEOMARGARINE.
In their statement Swift & Co. have the following to say regarding
the ingredients of oleomagarine:
Second. Oleomargarine is an absolutely pure and healthful product. It contains
the following ingredients :
1. Oleo oil: A selected fat from beef that is obtained from the caul fat. This is
the principal ingredient. This fat is thoroughly washed, thrown into a vat of ice
water to remove the animal heat, then thoroughly cooked, cooled, and put into
hydraulic presses, by which the oil is extracted, the residue being commercially
known as stearin.
2. Neutral: This is the leaf lard of the pig. The leaf fat when taken out of the
animal is thoroughly washed and put into a refrigerator, where it remains twenty-
four hours. It is then thoroughly cooked. It is absolutely without color, being
snow white, and has neither taste nor odor. Both pigs and cattle are examined by
Government inspectors before and after killing, thereby insuring protection against
disease. England, France, Germany, Holland, and many other foreign countries
where oleomargarine is manufactured more extensively than in the United States
depend entirely upon American manufacturers for oleo oil and neutral.
3. Cotton-seed oil: This ingredient is not always used; it is used in limited quan-
tities in the medium grade. The oil is extracted from selected cotton seed and then
highly refined. It is a pure, sweet product and is used quite generally for cooking
purposes. Prominent chemists have asserted that it has the same qualities as and
is equally digestible with the best of olive oil.
Specific reports do not sustain the statement above that oleo oil is the
principal ingredient of oleomargarine. These proportions we find vary
according to the interest addressed. When the cotton seed oil interests
are being appealed to for opposition to this measure, cotton seed oil is
a principal ingredient; when the aid of the cattle growers is solicited,
oleomargarine is made almost wholly of oleo oil.
When the oleomargarine interests were before Congress in 1886, one
of the leading manufacturers gave the Agricultural Committee the fol-
lowing description of the ingredients of the two principal grades:
Creamery butterine is usually composed of 25 per cent creamery butter, 40 per cent
neutral, 20 per cent oleo oil, and the balance milk, cream, and salt.
Dairy butterine differs from creamery only in the proportions. It is a cheaper
product, and its proportion of butter about 10 per cent, neutral 45 per cent, and oleo
oil 25 per cent, the balance being made up of cream, milk, and salt.
The closest research indicates that 30 per cent on the average is a
high estimate of the proportion of oleo oil contained in oleomargarine.
The highest temperature to which such oil can safely be subjected is
150 F., which does not "cook" anything, not being up to the boiling
point, and the higher the temperature of the fat in rendering, the poorer
While cotton-seed oil may not be used always, it is certainly a very
important ingredient in th lower grades. We have nothing to say
regarding the healthfulness of cotton-seed oil. The fact that caustic
soda and potash are used in refining may not be detrimental to its
However, it may be interesting in this connection to read a paragraph
from a handbook on "The manufacture of cotton seed oil and allied
products, including cake, meal, foots, soap stock, etc.," published by the
National Provisioner, of New York City. In describing one grade of oil
it says, on pages 32-33 :
The winter oil is a production of the yellow (summer) oil, made by the foregoing
treatment, together with the supplementary process of filtration, and is obtained by
the chilling process, the solid matter formed being known as stearin, used in the
butterine and soap-making industries.
PROCESS OF MANUFACTURING OLEOMARGARINE.
Continuing, Swift & Co. say:
Third. The process of manufacturing is somewhat as follows:
The ingredients are churned together for about thirty minutes in a large steel
churn ; after churning, the oleomargarine, which is then in a liquid state, is chilled
by passing through ice water, worked thoroughly to get out the moisture, packed
in tubs and cases, branded according to the requirements of the revenue laws, and
is ready for market. There is a small quantity of coloring matter introduced in
the product to give it the rich yellow color which has always been a feature of this
product, and was such feature long before it became a feature of butter. All the
ingredients are strictly pure, clean, and thoroughly cooked, so that there is no need
of any preservative other than salt, nor is any other ever used. If the oleomarga-
rine is properly made it does not become rancid and will keep in any climate. In
respect to its purity, cleanliness, and freedom from becoming rancid, it far exceeds
the best of butter.
Regarding the process of manufacture we have nothing to say,
except, however, to challenge the attempt upon the part of these oleo-
margarine makers to make it appear that butter is an imitation of
oleomargarine in color instead of oleomargarine being an imitation of
This is made clear and the whole fraudulent practices of the oleomar-
garine makers laid bare by a circular letter sent out April 5, 1899, by
William J. Moxley, of Chicago. The letter follows :
[Willliam J. Moxley, manufacturer office butterine, 63 and 65 W. Monroe street.]
CHICAGO, April 5, 1899.
NOTICE TO THE TRADE.
Inclosed find a color card, which is as near the color of our butterine as the
printer's art can represent. Our aim in sending you this card is to aid you in select-
ing the proper color suitable to your trade. Mistakes are easily made, but hard to
In nearly every section of the country there is a difference in the color of butter,
and even in certain seasons of the year there is a change, as you will have noticed.
In winter butter is of a lighter color than in summer. In many sections this is the
result of the difference in feed or pasture.
We can give you just what you want at all seasons if we know your requirements.
As an example, No. 1 lias no coloring matter; No. 2 a little coloring, and so on to No.
8, which is the highest colored goods we turn out. Preserve this card, order the
color you want by number, and we will send you just what you want.
W. J. MOXLEY.
Is there any necessity of going further to learn of the reasons why the
oleomargarine makers are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of
dollars to defeat laws forbidding the coloring of oleomargarine?
If Moxley can find a market for oleomargarine without color at one
season, why not at another? He gives the whole case away in the one
statement, that "in winter butter is of a lighter color than in summer,"
and offers to "color to suit" the shade of butter at any season of the
year or for any section.
Has it ever been claimed that the tastes of the people varied with the
season? Would a customer who knew he was buying oleomargarine
say in December, " No, we don't like such a high color in winter. Please
make it a little lighter? "
No, indeed. Any departure from the color of butter at any time of
year might excite the suspicion that he was not getting pure butter.
The manufacturer even provides for the chance of a consumer living in
a section where butter is not highly colored becoming suspicious, and
advertise to color it " to suit the section."
Butter has been a staple article of food for more than 4,000 years. It
is, as a rule, yellow nine months of the year. It is colored in winter and
fall to preserve a uniformity. It would sell just as well as near white
as it is ever made, provided it could be kept a uniform shade through-
out the year. Trade in all commodities requires uniformity. That is
the most exacting requirement of the butter trade. Conditions can be
adjusted to fit the degree. If butter were not colored for uniformity
to the June shade in order to make a uniform color it would have to be
bleached nine months in the year, which would be impracticable or
There is no deception in coloring butter. It is not colored to make it
look like anything else. The color doesn't deceive anybody into think-
ing he is getting a better article than he receives. Everybody knows
butter is colored, as they know candy is colored. Some say the highly
colored June butter is richer and more to be desired. The high color,
however, is not indicative of quality. The season alone creates that,
new grass imparting a delicious and desirable flavor just as much to
the light-colored butter as to the highly colored. One prominent Sena-
tor said, in the course of a hearing in Chicago last summer, "But
you color your butter in winter to make it loot like June butter
that which is rich and has high flavor." "It would scarcely be good
business to color for that purpose," was the response of the witness,
" because if the buyer thought it to be June butter offered for sale in
winter he would want to buy it at June butter prices, which are from
2 to 4 cents a pound lower in winter than fresh made goods."
So it will be seen that this argument of endeavoring to deceive peo-
ple into thinking they are getting June butter in winter isn't very good,
THE LAW OF 1886 WAS NOT A REVENUE MEASURE.
Swift & Co., in commenting upon the amount of revenue produced by
oleomargarine since the present law went into effect, in 1886, say:
You will note the fact also that since the present oleomargarine law took effect
it has turned into the Treasury, in less than fifteen years, the large amount of
We are painfully aware of that fact. This law of 1886 was enacted
as the only remedy the General Government could afford to check the
enormous frauds being practiced in the sale of oleomargarine at that
time. The tax was placed at 2 cents a pound, this being regarded
to be about the figure needed to raise sufficient revenue to enable the
Government to enforce the other provisions of the bill. What has
been the result! No attention whatever has been paid to the intent of
the law. Be venue collectors have been satisfied to see that the taxes
were paid. It has not been possible to interest them to any extent
whatever in the enforcement of the provision requiring the branding
of packages by the retailer, which was the entire intent of the law
The internal-revenue collector of a certain prominent district made
the statement that it would be poor policy for his department to inter-
fere with the volume of trade in a revenue-producing article by enforc-
ing regulations which would have such effect. In the city of Chicago
about the only part of the law that is enforced is that requiring the
payment of the 2-cent tax and the license stamps. No attention is
paid to complaints of the sale of oleomargarine at retail not properly
branded. These complaints have been made and ignored dozens of
times, and what is said of Chicago can, we are informed by those who
have investigated, be said of other districts.
FIGURES USED TO FRIGHTEN LIVE-STOCK MEN.
But in the fifth statement Swift & Co. play their strongest card
against the Grout bill and 10 cent tax, and a more brazen attempt to
mislead Congress has probably never been brought to the surface.
Fifth. The enactment of these bills would seriously affect the cattle industry.
The manufacturer of oleomargarine has created a demand for oleooil, which is made
from the choice fats from the beef, and is worth to-day 10 cents per pound. If these
choice fata were not utilized in the manufacture of oleomargarine they would have
to be sold as tallow, which is worth 6 cents per pound. A steer will yield 50 pounds
of oleo oil; therefore, should the oleomargarine industry be destroyed each steer
would depreciate in value $2. The same is true of the hog. Leaf lard (or neutral)
is used in the manufacture of oleomargarine. Neutral is to-day worth 8 cents per
pound, lard is worth 6 cents per pound; a hog will yield about 8 pounds of neu-
tral. If thore was no demand for neutral as an oleomargarine ingredient it would
have no greater value than lard; hence each hog would be worth 20 cents less than
For the year ending December 31, 1899, there were 1,702,572 cattle slaughtered at
the Union Stock Yards in Chicago; at $2 per head this would make $3,405,144. For
the same period there were 7,032,430 hogs slaughtered at the Union Stock Yards in
Chicago ; at 20 cents per head this would make $1,406,486. Therefore, should Congress
pass a law which would destroy the oleomargarine business the cattle and hog rais-
ers marketing their stock in Chicago would actually lose in the course of a year
$4,811,630 by depreciation in value of stock, and this will apply to every other
slaughtering point in the United States Kansas City, Omaha, St. Louis, etc.
Let us analyze this statement. It can be done in two ways. First,
let us look at the live-stock interests. Cattle were slaughtered as fol-
lows at the leading centers during the past year:
Kansas City 1,032,586
St. Louis 506,249
It is safe to say that in other centers combined enough more cattle
were slaughtered last year to bring the total number up to 5,000,000
During 1899 there were 83,000,000 pounds of oleomargarine manu-
factured. Making a liberal allowance, one- third of this product was
oleo oil. This is too high an estimate, but we can afford to be liberal.
Therefore in 83,000,000 pounds of oleomargarine there was used
27,000,01)0 pounds of oleo oil. Eight cents a pound upon the average
is about right for the price of oleo oil for the year, as it is not all high
grade, nor was the market high all the year. This would make the
oleo oil going into the 83,000,000 pounds of oleomargarine worth
$2,208,000. This would mean that an average of 44 cents 7 worth of < leo
oil was used from each head of cattle killed in the country. Granted,
for argument, that this oleo oil could find no other market than to the
manufacturers of this country for oleomargarine, except as tallow, which
is worth a little over half the price of oleo oil. In that case the 44 cents 7
worth of oleo oil would have to be sold at 22 cents as tallow, which
would result in the loss of 22 cents a head on a steer worth from $30 to
$60 or $70, which is figuring a little finer than people figure in business
But let us bring to light the facts which Swift & Co. endeavor to
hide from Congress. They endeavor to convey the impression that if
they are not permitted to imitate butter with the color of their oleo-
margarine the entire oleomargarine industry of the world will be
wrecked. In no other way can they justify the claim of a loss of $2
per head upon cattle.
But here are the facts. It has been shown that about 27,600,000
pounds of oleo oil were used in making oleomargarine in this country
last year. This is but a small percentage of the oleo oil produced.
The Government statistics of exports for the year 1899 show that com-
pared with 27,600,000 pounds of oleo oil used at home there were
exported 142,000,00') pounds, largely to Rotterdam, where it is used.
They would endeavor to lead Congress to believe that any act affecting
the imitation-butter business in the United States would bring about
the destruction of the export trade in oleo oil, which trade could, if
necessary, also take all the oil used in oleomargarine in this country.
The same is true of the claim regarding the threatened depression in
the price of hogs.
But let us view this question in another light. According to the
stat ment of Swift & Co., the average price of oleomargarine is about
10 cents per pound. The 83,000,000 pounds .made last year would be
worth, according to this, $8,300,000.
Now, if the 5,000,000 head of cattle would be depreciated $2 per head
by the passage of the Grout bill, the loss to the live-stock man would
be, according to their claim, $10,000,000. Then upon the conservative
estimate of 15,000,000 head of hogs marketed last year, upon which this
"vicious measure" would entail a loss of 20 cents per head, would be
an additional loss of $3,000,000. This makes a total loss, according to
their statement, of $13,000,000 upon a business aggregating $8,300,000
per year. And this is not taking into consideration the "loss" claimed
by the cotton-seed oil men, who sell the oleomargarine people in this
country about 3,400,000 gallons of oil, valued at about $1,000,000, com-
pared with the 40,230,784 gallons, valued at $10,137,619, which they
export, in addition to that used in soap making and as salad oil in the
THE COLORING OF OLEOMARGARINE AND BUTTER.
Here is the next statement of Swift & Co. :
Sixth. The question of color is urged against the use of oleomargarine. It goes
without saying that we have the right to make our goods as attractive and as pleas-
ing to the eye and as desirable to the purchaser as we can, provided that we do
nothing to injure the quality of the goods. The same color is used in coloring oleo-
margarine that is used in coloring butter, and the use of this butter color (so called)
in coloring butter is just as much a deceit and a fraud upon customers as is its use
in coloring oleomargarine. It is further a fact that the oleomargarine manufacturers
were the first to see the advantage of having a uniform color in their goods and were
the first to use butter color (so called). The creameries throughout the country
were quick to take advantage of the new idea, and to-day it is rare to see butter on
the market which is not colored a bright yellow, although the natural color of but-
ter ranges all the way from white for the ordinary winter butter to a light yellow
for summer butter.
The above is certainly a bold position to openly assume before Con-
gress. We would refer Swift & Co. to the noted speech made by Con-
gressman Tayler, of Ohio, upon the question of Brigham H. Eoberts's
right to a seat in Congress. Mr. Taylor said:
This is a representative Government; it springs from the people, from the people
who make the law, and their representatives are such because they are believers in
the law and subject to the law. Many may entertain opinions as to the unwisdom
of certain laws, and a hope that these may be erased from the statute books ; but
in the very nature of things they can not stand for defiance of law. And as they can
not stand for defiance of any law, how much the more must they stand as respecters
of and obedient to such laws as have proceeded from the people, at the people's
initiative, and sustained by the deliberate and intelligent approval of substantially
all the people.
Swift & Co. stand for defiance not only of the laws of their own State,
but of the laws of more than two thirds of the States of the United
States. They come before Congress, a large majority of which repre-
sent States whose laws they are violating, and openly say: "It goes
without saying that we have the right to make our goods as attractive
and as pleasing to the purchaser as we can, provided that we do noth-
ing to injure the quality of the goods."
State laws are as naught. The opinions of our most learned jurists
are not worthy of consideration. What four- fifths of the people
through their legislatures have condemned, in the estimation of Swift
& Co., "goes without saying."
But let us see what the courts say about this right which Swift &
Co. claim "goes without saying."
Tn December, 1894, the Supreme Court of the United States handed
* S. Rep. 2043 39 (*27)
610 OLEOM AEG AEINE.
down an opinion regarding this right which Swift & Co. says "goes
without saying." It was" the case of Plumley v. Massachusetts. Plum-
ley had been convicted under the Massachusetts law of selling a com-
pound known as oleomargarine, colored in semblance of butter. The
matter was carried to the supreme court of the State, where judgment
was affirmed; it was then taken to the Supreme Court of the United
States. The defense was that Plumley was held under a statute which
was unconstitutional for two reasons.
The statute in that case prevented the sale of this substance in imi-
tation of yellow butter produced from pure unadulterated milk or cream
of the same, and the statute contained a proviso that nothing therein
should be "construed to prohibit the manufacture or sale of oleomar-
garine in a separate or distinct form and in such manner as will advise
the consumer of its real character, free from coloration or ingredients
that cause it to look like butter." The court held that a conviction
under that statute for having sold an article known as oleomargarine,
not produced from unadulterated milk or cream, but manufactured in
imitation of yellow butter, produced from pure, unadulterated milk or
cream, was valid. Attention was called in the opinion to the fact that
the statute did not prohibit the manufacture or sale of all oleomarga-
rine, but only such as was colored in imitation of yellow butter pro-
duced from unadulterated milk or cream of such milk. If free from
coloration or ingredient that caused it to look like butter, the right to
sell it in a separate and distinct form and in such manner as would
advise the customer of the real character was neither restricted nor
prohibited. The court held that under the statute the party was only
forbidden to practice in such matters a fraud upon the general public;
that the statute seeks to suppress false pretenses and to promote fair
dealing in the sale of an article of food, and that it compels the sale of
oleomargarine for what it really is by preventing its sale for what it is
not; that the term "commerce among the States" did not mean a rec-
ognition of a right to practice a fraud upon the public in the sale of an
article even if it had become the subject of trade in different parts of
Judge Harlan, in delivering this opinion, said:
And yet it is supposed the owners of a compound which has been put in a condi-
tion to cheat the public into believing it is a particular article of food in daily use
and eagerly sought for by people in every condition of life are protected by the Con-
stitution in making a sale of it against the will of the States in which it is offered
for sale because of the circumstance that it is in an original package and has become
a subject of ordinary traffic. We are unwilling to accept this view. We are of the
opinion that it is within the power of a State to exclude from its markets any com-
pound manufactured in another State which has been artificially colored or adulter-
ated so as to cause it to look like an article of food in general use and the sale of
which may, by reason of such coloration or adulteration, cheat the general public
into purchasing that which they may not intend to buy.
The Constitution of the United States does not secure to anyone the privilege of
defrauding the public. The deception against which the statute of Massachusetts