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U.S. Supreme Court

Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States, 220 U.S. 45 (1911)

Hipolite Egg Company v. United States

No. 519

Submitted January 5, 1911

Decided March 13, 1911

220 U.S. 45


The object of the Pure Food and Drug Act of June 30, 1906, c. 3915, 34 Stat. 768, is to keep adulterated articles out of the channels of interstate commerce, or, if they enter such commerce, to condemn them while in transit, or in original or unbroken packages after reaching destination, and the provisions of § 10 of the act apply not only to articles for sale, but also to articles to be used as raw material in the manufacture of some other product.

In construing the Pure Food and Drug Act, all articles, compound or single, not intended for consumption by the producer, are regarded as designed for sale, and for that reason it is the concern of the law to have them pure.

The remedies given by the statute in personam and by condemnation are not inconsistent, and they are not dependent. The Three Friends, 166 U. S. 1.

By the Pure Food and Drug Act adulterated articles are, while in interstate commerce, made culpable as well as their shipper; while in original unbroken packages, they can be seized, and they carry their own identification as contraband of law; they are subject to the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, and they are not beyond the jurisdiction of the national government because within the borders of a state. Quaere how far such articles can be pursued beyond the original package.

Page 220 U. S. 46

Congress can use appropriate means to execute the power conferred upon it by the Constitution, and the seizure and condemnation of prohibited articles in interstate commerce at their point of destination in original unbroken package is an appropriate means. @ 17 U. S. 355.

In a proceeding in rem under § 10 of the Pure Food and Drug Act, the court has jurisdiction to enter personal judgment for costs against the claimant. Quaere whether the certificate in this case presents the question of jurisdiction to award costs.

The facts, which involve the construction of certain provisions of the Pure Food Act of June 30, 1906, are stated in the opinion.

Page 220 U. S. 49

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