Talk:United States v. Forty Barrels & Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola
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From the judgement: The judgment is reversed and the cause is remanded for furthere(sp) proceedings in conformity with this opinion. I believe the original judgment was for Coca-Cola. And does anyone else find it funny that apparently, a quantity of soda was the defendant in this case? 126.96.36.199 (talk) 04:00, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I added an infobox to describe the outcome of the case, which was lacking from the page. It's bare and worthless aside from that and the dates upon which it was decided and argued - a little more work and we might have the beginnings of a real article here. As for the above comment, this wasn't the only such case; I'm not at all sure, but it could have been common practice at the time(there's a reference to 443 Cans of Frozen Egg Product v. United States). BioTube (talk) 17:16, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Food as a Defendant
Ok, as strange as it sounds, it seems that there were a number of cases in which food/beverage products were named as a defendant per the Pure Food and Drug Act (as described in this appeal) that states
- That any article of food . . . that is adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of this act, and is being transported from one state . . . to another for sale, . . . shall be liable to be proceeded against in any district court of the United States within the district where the same is found, and seized for confiscation by a process of libel for condemnation
It does sound strange, and makes me wonder if property is named as a defendant in any other common-law jurisdictions outside the U.S. It appears to have been an effort by Congress to apply the powers of Admiralty Law granted in the Constitution to allow the confiscation of products deemed dangerous to the public. Perhaps this subject warrants it's own article? I suspect that this practice only existed between the 1906 passing of the Act and the passing of it's more comprehensive replacement, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. - Eric (talk) 04:34, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
- Property is often the defendent in current US drug prosecutions. A house is charged with being a dwelling used for the manafacture of a controlled substance. This practice is controversial. I can't speak for charging property in other countries though.RevelationDirect (talk) 09:46, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Good point all – thanks! The formal term for an object being a defendant is jurisdiction in rem (power over things), and this is a notable case of it, though as Revelation remarks, it’s mostly used these days for asset forfeiture, largely drug-related. I’ve made a note here; see the in rem page for more examples.
Factual errors in "Context" section
There are a number of significant factual errors in the "Context" section that was added on 20 February 2012. I was trying to fix some of these, but they turned out to be a bit more complicated than I'd had time to research. Here are two major ones:
- Harvey Washington Wiley could not have passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, since only Congress can pass laws.
- Wiley may have been a key player in this, but not as the FDA commissioner, because the FDA didn't exist until 1930. The correct roles and agency names should be used (with parenthetical statements to indicate the modern organizations).
I tried to check the cited source (Hamowy, Government and Public Health in America), but it's apparently an expensive and not widely-held book, and the link provided for this "reference" merely shows a citation for the court case, not the source material used to support 11 factual statements here. (It also seems to be using a Spanish-language interface to Google Books for some reason.) I ran out of time trying to untangle this, so I invite other editors to give it a try. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:18, 10 April 2015 (UTC)