United States v. Antikamnia Chemical Co.,
231 U.S. 654 (1914)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Antikamnia Chemical Co., 231 U.S. 654 (1914)

United States v. Antikamnia Chemical Company

No. 118

Argued December 9, 1913

Decided January 5, 1914

231 U.S. 654


Where the validity of regulations made by officers to whom power to make them is delegated by the Food and Drugs Act of 1906 is denied, an authority exercised under the United States is drawn in question, and not merely the construction of the statute, and this Court has jurisdiction to review the judgment of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia. Steinmetz v. Allen, 192 U. S. 543, followed, and United States ex Rel. Taylor v. Taft, 203 U. S. 461, distinguished.

In this case, the question of authority of the officers to whom the power to make regulations is delegated by the Food and Drugs Act is substantial, and not frivolous. United States v. Grimaud, 220 U. S. 506 distinguished.

The purpose of the Food and Drugs Act of 1906 is to secure purity of food and drugs and to inform purchasers of what they are buying. Its provisions are directed to that purpose, and must be construed to effect it.

The power given by § 3 of the Food and Drugs Act to the specified heads of departments to make regulations is an administrative power, and not one to alter or add to the act, and the extent of the power must be determined by the purpose of the act and the difficulties its execution might encounter.

Regulation No. 28 for the enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act requiring labels to state not only what drugs contain, but also what the contents are derivatives of, is within the delegated power of the act and does not enlarge or alter its provisions.

It is a violation of the Food and Drugs Act of 1906 and of Regulation No. 28 to label tablets as containing acetphenetidin without stating that acetphenetidin is a derivative of acetanilid.

The Food and Drugs Act itself requires that not only primary substances be labeled, but also their derivatives, and no regulations are necessary to support this requirement.

The purpose of a statute is the ever-insistent consideration in its interpretation, and this Court will not attribute to a statute so

Page 231 U. S. 655

important as the Food and Drug Act the defect of ineffectiveness as to its execution.

The fact that a statute has penal character does not mean that it should not be given its reasonable intendment.

37 App.D.C. 343 reversed.

The Facts, which involve the construction of provisions of the Food and Drugs Act of 1906 in regard to labelling drugs, are stated in the opinion.

Page 231 U. S. 659

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