225 US 540 Standard Stock Food Company v. H R Wright

225 U.S. 540

32 S.Ct. 784

56 L.Ed. 1197

H. R. WRIGHT, as State Food and Dairy Commissioner of Iowa.

No. 222.

Argued April 24, 1912.

Decided June 10, 1912.

Messrs. F. H. Gaines, E. G. McGilton, Sidney W. Smith, and A. L. Hager for appellant.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 541-543 intentionally omitted]

Mr. George Cosson, Attorney General of Iowa, and Mr. Henry E. Sampson for appellee.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 543-547 intentionally omitted]

Mr. Justice Hughes delivered the opinion of the court:


The Standard Stock Food Company, a Nebraska corporation, brought this suit against the state food and dairy commissioner of Iowa to restrain the enforcement of a statute of Iowa, effective July 4, 1907 (Code of Iowa, Supplement 1907, §§ 5077-a6-5077-a24), relating to the sale within the state of 'concentrated commercial feeding stuffs,' upon the ground that it was repugnant to the interstate commerce clause (§ 8, article 1), and to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Demurrer to the bill was sustained by the circuit court and the complainant appeals.


It was alleged in the bill that the appellant's product was a 'condimental stock food,' sold in Iowa and other states under the trade name of 'Standard Stock Food;' that it was prepared pursuant to a secret formula of great value, contained nothing deleterious of poisonous, and had 'condimental and tonic properties and powers which aid animals in the digestion of food.' It was further alleged that it was made in Nebraska and shipped into Iowa, where it was sold in the original packages either by agents of the appellant or by dealers.


The act required that each package of the described articles should have affixed thereto, in a conspicuous place on the outside, a printed statement giving certain information. The substances of this requirement, with respect to its products, is thus stated in the appellant's argument:


'The package or container of such products shall have printed on the outside thereof:


'First. The number of net pounds of feeding stuffs in the package.


'Second. The name, brand, or trademark under which the article is sold.


'Third. The name and address of the manufacturer, importer, dealer, or agent.


'Fourth. The place of manufacture.


'Fifth. The name and percentage of any deleterious or poisonous ingredient or ingredients.


'Sixth. The name and percentage of the diluent or diluents or bases.' (Sections 1, 2.)


The statute also contains the following provision (§ 5):


'Before any manufacturer, importer, dealer, or agent shall offer or expose for sale in this state any of the concentrated commercial feeding stuffs defined in section three (3) of this act, he shall pay to the state food and dairy commissioner an inspection fee of ten cents per ton for each ton of such concentrated commercial feeding stuffs sold or offered for sale in the state of Iowa, for use within this state; except that every manufacturer, importer, dealer, or agent for any condimental, patented, proprietary, or trademarked stock or poultry foods, or both, shall pay to the state food and dairy commissioner, on or before the fifteenth day of July of each year, a license fee of one hundred dollars ($100) in lieu of such inspection fee. Whenever the manufacturer or importer of such foods shall have paid the fee herein required, no other person or agent of such manufacturer or importer shall be required to pay such license fee.'


The appellant challenges the constitutional validity of the statute in these two particulars: (1) The requirement that the name and percentage of the diluent or diluents or bases shall be stated, and (2) the exaction of the fee of $100.


1. With respect to the first question the case in its essential features is not to be distinguished from that of Savage v. Jones, decided June 7, 1912 [225 U. S. 501, 56 L. ed. ——, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 715], and nothing need be added to what was there said. It was competent for the state, in the exercise of its power to prevent imposition upon the public, to require the disclosure to which objection is made. The provision was not an unreasonable one and the effect upon interstate commerce was incidental only. Plumley v. Massachusetts, 155 U. S. 461, 39 L. ed. 223, 5 Inters. Com. Rep. 590, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 154; Hennington v. Georgia, 163 U. S. 299, 317, 41 L. ed. 166, 173, 16 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1086; Missouri, K. & T. R. Co. v. Haber, 169 U. S. 613, 42 L. ed. 878, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 488; Patapsco Guano Co. v. Board of Agriculture, 171 U. S. 345, 361, 43 L. ed. 191, 197, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 862; New Mexico ex rel. McLean v. Denver & R. G. R. Co. 203 U. S. 38, 50, 51 L. ed. 78, 86, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1; Heath & M. Mfg. Co. v. Worst, 207 U. S. 338, 52 L. ed. 236, 28 Sup. Ct. Rep. 114; Asbell v. Kansas, 209 U. S. 251, 254, 256, 52 L. ed. 778, 780, 781, 28 Sup. Ct. Rep. 485, 14 Ann. Cas. 1101. Nor is there any conflict with the food and drugs act of June 30, 1906, chap. 3915 (34 Stat. at L. 768, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 1354), Savage v. Jones supra.


2. The statute provides for inspection and analysis. Under § 6, it is the duty of the state food and dairy commissioner to 'cause to be made analyses of all concentrated commercial feeding stuffs and agricultural seeds sold or offered for sale in this state.' For this purpose, that officer is authorized 'in person or by deputy, to take for analysis a sample from any lot or package of concentrated commercial feeding stuffs in this state,' and further provision is made to assure the representative character of the sample. The results of the analyses are to be published from time to time in official bulletins. The state food and dairy commissioner is required to enforce the statute, and to this end is authorized to appoint, with the approval of the executive council, such analysts and chemists as may be necessary to carry it into effect. Violation of any of the provisions of the act is made a misdemeanor.


We are of opinion that the statute must be considered as an inspection law which it was within the power of the state to enact, and that its fair import is that the fees exacted by § 5, above quoted, are for the purpose of meeting the expenses of inspection. The bill alleges no facts warranting the conclusion that the charge is unreasonable as compared with this expense. Patapsco Guano Co. v. Board of Agriculture, 171 U. S. 345, 347, 354, 361, 43 L. ed. 191, 192, 194, 197, 18 Sup. Ct. Rep. 862; New Mexico ex rel. McLean v. Denver & R. G. R. Co. 203 U. S. 38, 50, 51 L. ed. 78, 86, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1; Red 'C' Oil Mfg. Co. v. Board of Agriculture, 222 U. S. 380, 393, 56 L. ed. 240, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 152; Savage v. Jones, 225 U. S. 501, 56 L. ed. ——, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 715.


The payment of the sum of $100 in the case of 'condimental, patented, proprietary, or trademarked stock or poultry foods' was required in lieu of the inspection charge of 10 cents a ton, and was in effect a commutation of that charge. The essential character of the exaction was not altered. If it be said that this provision discriminates against one doing a small business, still the appellant wholly fails to show that it is thereby injured and thus entitled to complain. On the contrary, the bill alleges that the appellant 'sells to more than eight hundred dealers in the state of Iowa, besides a very large number of customers who buy direct from your orator or through its agents,' and that it 'has been enabled to sell in the state of Iowa during the past year and for a number of years preceding a quantity of its goods in an amount exceeding $40,000 per annum.'


The case in this aspect falls within the established rule that 'one who would strike down a state statute as violative of the Federal Constitution must bring himself by proper averments and showing within the class as to whom the act thus attacked is unconstitutional. He must show that the alleged unconstitutional feature of the law injures him, and so operates as to deprive him of rights protected by the Federal Constitution.' Southern R. Co. v. King, 217 U. S. 524, 534, 54 L. ed. 868, 871, 30 Sup. Ct. Rep. 594. See also Tyler v. Registration Ct. Judges, 179 U. S. 405, 45 L. ed. 252, 21 Sup. Ct. Rep. 206; Turpin v. Lemon, 187 U. S. 51, 60, 47 L. ed. 70, 74, 23 Sup. Ct. Rep. 20; Hooker v. Burr, 194 U. S. 415, 48 L. ed. 1046, 24 Sup. Ct. Rep. 706; New York ex rel. Hatch v. Reardon, 204 U. S. 152, 160, 51 L. ed. 415, 422, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 188, 9 Ann. Cas. 736; Collins v. Texas, 223 U. S. 288, 295, 56 L. ed. ——, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 286.


The Circuit Court was right in sustaining the demurrer.