It is quite possible that a strong, healthy infant, taking 1 qt. of milk daily might absorb as much as 20-25 gr. in that time, having regard to the likelihood of the minimum amounts mentioned being exceeded.

The experiments of Dr. J. Forster go to show that the addition of boracic acid to articles of food in far smaller proportions than is customary is injurious to health. This author considers that (< even small doses of it are injurious to the digestive organs." The injurious action, he says, depends on the circumstance that the drug acts so as to malerially increase the proportion of solid matters and nitrogen in the faeces separated. Its action of the intestinal discharge is well marked, even by the exhibition of as little as 4 gr. per diem, and is stated to be in direct relation to the quantity taken, and to be maintained for some time after the doses of the drug have ceased. The action described is perceptible, not only with vegetable or animal foods, which contain a large proportion of indigestible ingredients, but also when highly-digestible foods, such as milk and eggs, are taken. Food to which the acid has been added tends to cause an increase in the secretion of gall during assimilation.

One of its most important actions, however, according to this author, is the increase which it causes in the discharge of albuminous substances from the intestinal canal.

E. Hotter has recently published a series of experiments on the action of boron compounds on plants. The absorption of such compounds was found by him to destroy the chlorophyll, and hence to arrest the processes of assimilation. The roots are affected, and soon die. Free boric acid was found to be more prejudicial than the alkali salts.

Apart from the experiments referred to, it is sufficiently plain that an " antiseptic " substauce of any kind, if introduced into food must, by its very nature, be injurious to the health of the consumer. It is evident that the introduction of antiseptics of any kind into the alimentary canal .must upset the conditions necessary to health. The danger is the greater because it is insidious, and because the effects produced are not violeut or sudden, but such as will create disturbances and ultimately serious injury, which are likely to bo ascribed to anything but the real cause. The question of quantity does not bear upon the matter in any way. It has, or should have, no bearing legally. Any quantity that is sufficient to produce the "antiseptic" effect in the food itself, must be regarded as injurious, even if the undoubtedly harmful action of continued small doses of a " preservative " substance be left out of consideration. It must be remembered that boracic acid preservatives are very extensively used. In butter, milk, cream, fish, meat, and in preserved foods and proprietary preparations of various kinds, boracic acid is to be constantly found.

I have recently found it to be present in large amounts in meat " extracts" and " fluids" intended especially for the use of invalids and children, and which, I regret to say, are belauded in inflated language by members of the medical profession, who, had they known of the presence of boracic acid, would surely have condemned them. The unavowed presence of boracic acid in such preparations, or in the milk and cream so largely used by invalids and children, might, and, in most cases, probably would, seriously disturb a physician's course of treatment.

Attempts have been made to confine the issue by asserting that it is as permissible to add boracic acid to a food as it is to add salt in certain instances (as in the case of salt meat). This contention is at once disposed of by pointing out the physiological fact that salt is a food, and that boracic acid is not. Again, boracic acid and compounds of it are not natural constituents of milk or of any food. They are not themselves "foods," but "drugs."

Proceedings could be taken against the vendors of milk containing boracic acid compounds under the 3rd Section of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, which prohibits, with certain unfortunate reservations, the "mixing, colouring, staining, or powdering" of any article of food with any ingredient or material so as to render the article injurious to health. It is a matter of great difficulty, however, to prove "injury to health " to the satisfaction of an ordinary court. It is almost necessary in all such cases to be able to produce some poor creature who has been almost " done to death "by that which is complained of. Under this section also it is practically a necessity to state the percentage of the injurious substance, to afford, of course, a useful bone of contention for members of the legal profession, and not to obstruct in any way the wide loop-hole for the escape of offenders, duly left by the legislature, in this section. I contend that it is unnecessary to state percentage 5 in a matter of this kind.

The 6th Section of the Act makes it an offence to sell to the prejudice of the purchaser any article of food which is not of the *' nature, substance and quality " of the article demanded by the purchaser, and provides that no offence is committed under this section if "any matter or ingredient not injurious to health has been added, because such addition is required for the reduction or preparation of the food as "an article of commerce," or " in a state fit for carriage or consumption," and " not to conceal the inferior quality thereof."The 2nd Section of the Amendment Act of 1879 provides that it is no defence to prove that the "article of food in question, though defective in 'nature,' or in 'substance,' or in 'quality,' was not defective' in all three respects.'" That is, proceedings would be justified by a defect in any one respect.

There appears, however, to be an impression abroad that there is no offence under the 6th section unless the adulterant forms a "substantial portion" - that is, presumably, more than a fractional part of the article as sold to the purchaser. Taking the case of milk, it ought hardly to be necessary to point out: (1) That milk containing boracic acid compounds is not of the nature, substance and quality of milk; (2) That even if defect in nature and substance is only constituted by the presence of an adulterant in what is popularly called " a substantial amount" (that is, forming a large integral portion of the article), defect in quality is at once established by the presence of boracic acid in milk, and that such defect is independent of the question of quantity; further, (3) the admixture of boracic acid compounds with milk is not required for preserving it in course of transit from producer to consumer. • Refrigeration, which adds nothing to the milk, is the recognised and legitimate method, if such preservation for transit be deemed necessary; and (4) the addition of the preservatives does serve the purpose of concealing the inferior quality of the milk, as it allows stale milk to be supplied as fresh, and as it is far more easy and less expensive than the better method of refrigeration.