Only a very small percentage of American and Canadian families produce all their own food. Under the circumstances, over 200 million people and close to 5 milion infants are dependent, to a greater or lesser extent, upon codes, ordinances, and laws enacted to insure that produce in the market place is sound, wholesome, and free of noxious or toxic contaminants. In most instances, neither the consuming public nor the medical profession is aware of the complex and comprehensive nature of the regulatory network which controls the quality of the food supply.
Various governmental agencies, federal, state, provincial in Canada, and municipal, provide minimum standards of quality for food and nutritional products and promulgate codes governing manufacturing procedures. Some codes have the force of law whereas others are prepared as guides, particularly for those industries manufacturing food which does not enter interstate commernce, and compliance may be voluntary unless local legislation exists to enforce these codes. Compliance with these standards is determined both by governmental agencies and manufacturers using selective sampling and assay of products at various stages prior to marketing. However, governmental agencies are able to spot check only a small number of the many lots of products and foods under their jurisdiction. The high quality of today's commodity foods and nutritional products has resulted in large part from widespread compliance, self-policing, and desire by industry to surpass the minimum requirements set by law and to provide the consumer with superior products.
Through the full co-operation of industry with governmental agencies, a great number and variety of food and nutrition products of high quality and uniformity is available to the consumer, and especially to the infant.
- Copyright © 1965 by the American Academy of Pediatrics