Corn Products Refining Co. v. Eddy,
249 U.S. 427 (1919)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Corn Products Refining Co. v. Eddy, 249 U.S. 427 (1919)

Corn Products Refining Company v. Eddy

No. 119

Argued January 14, 1919

Decided April 14, 1919

249 U.S. 427


A state regulation respecting the labeling of syrup compounds which does not discriminate against the manufacturer or his product or against syrups as a class held not objectionable under the equal protection clause. P. 249 U. S. 431.

The right of a manufacturer to maintain secrecy as to his compounds and processes is subject to the right of the state, in the exercise of its police power, to require that the nature of the product be fairly set forth. P. 249 U. S. 432. Held that a state regulation, requiring manufacturers of proprietary compound syrups to state definitely in conspicuous letters on the principal label the percentage of each ingredient is consistent with the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id.

It is the effect of a regulation as put in force by the state that determines whether it directly burdens interstate commerce, and not its characterization or its construction by the state court. Id.

The proviso in § 8 of the Federal Pure Food Act that nothing in the act shall be construed as requiring proprietors or manufacturers of proprietary foods which contain no unwholesome added ingredient

Page 249 U. S. 128

to disclose their trade formulas except insofar as the provisions of the act may require to secure freedom from adulteration or misbranding merely relates to the interpretation of the requirements of that act, and does not enlarge its purview or establish a rule as to matters which lie outside its prohibitions. P. 249 U. S. 439.

A regulation adopted by a state board of health and in effect upheld by the state court as authorized by the state pure food law must be regarded as state legislation in ascertaining its relation to the federal food law. P. 249 U. S. 437.

Neither under the commerce clause directly nor through the Federal Pure Food Law, as amended, is a state forbidden to require that proprietary foods, imported into the state and sold in the original packages, shall bear labels stating the names and percentages of the ingredients composing them. P. 249 U. S. 433. Savage v. Jones, 225 U. S. 501, followed; McDermott v. Wisconsin, 228 U. S. 115, distinguished.

99 Kan. 63 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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