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March 1937: Dairymen charge laxity of milk inspection

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Published on: Friday, April 03, 2009

Montgomery County milk shippers are insistent in their charges that  the milk regulations are not being rigidly adhered to and that milk is coming into Montgomery County without meeting the requirements as laid down by the Health Regulations adopted to govern the safety of consumers.

A group, headed by Basil Mobley, James King, Lawson King, O. W. Anderson, Douglas Diamond, L. R. Sabine and other important shippers, appeared before the County Commissioners Tuesday and demanded that something be done to halt the promiscuous distribution of milk in the heavily populated suburban areas.

A particularly heavy attack was launched upon the proposal now before the commissioners to permit State inspection to replace county inspection and the extension of the 40-mile inspection limit.

Lawson King and others charged that a certain distributor has been permitted to bring milk not meeting with Grad A requirements into the county.  It was also charged that certain records had been removed from the health department files on the complaint of this certain distributor after he had allegedly made improvements in his plant.  The local producers claim that the distributor in question was never degraded or otherwise penalized for his neglect and disregard of county health rules.

At the meeting Commissioners Robert D. Hagner and Paul Coughlan expressed their desire to cooperate with the local producers.  Hagner said he had probably been derelict in his duties, although he was not a member of the special committee on milk.  He said he had never been satisfied with the way things were going and would like to see the health department jacked up to compel a uniform set of rules governing shippers and distributors.  Mr. Coughlan expressed himself as also being in accordance with the demands of the local dairymen. 

Commissioner Richard H. Lansdale declared that he had no knowledge that the inspection was not being carried out in accordance with the regulations.  Commissioner Charles E. King said that as far as the board was concerned they could only act on complaints as reported by the health officer and his inspectors.

H. S. Harvey, Hyattsville, and independent distributor, who accompanied the delegation, told the board he believed the regulations might be "tightened up" somewhat, and that he would be willing to follow any policy the board might adopt.  It is practically impossible for him to refuse to buy milk from any producer approved by the county health office, he said.

Earlier, J. O. Holbrook, Hyattsville, another independent distributor, appearing before the board to discuss payment of back fees totaling more than $1,100 for inspection of out-of-county milk during the last eight months, asked the commissioners if he would be permitted to distribute State-inspected milk in the county in the future.

It was reported that scant satisfaction was given on Mr. Holbrook's request.

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