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History of Clyde
Dairy Industry

Clyde Farmers Fined for Adding Water to the Milk

Milk Adulteration-Drastice Legislation Proposed
The state Government has determined to take serious action in order to check the adulteration of milk.  It has is decided that when any dairyman has been convicted twice for having adulterated mill, the license for his dairy shall be cancelled.

The Minister for Agriculture (Mr Swinburne) then referring to the subject after a meeting of the state Cabinet yesterday, said that the Government intended to make a strong effort to prevent adulteration, and to deal drastically with dairy-men who persisted in adulterating their milk although they might be fined time after time.

Woman Fined Twice
At the Prahran Court on Monday, before Mr. Mackinnon (chairman) Major Clipperton and Messrs Hyslop and Phipps J. P.'s Mrs. Sarah McKay, dairy farmer of Clyde was charged on the Information of Inspector E.J. O' Connor, of the Board of Public Health with having sold adulterated milk to Walter White, retail dairyman, of Williams-road Hawksburn on July 31. Formal evidence was tendered to show that a 50- quart can of milk was despatched from Mrs Mc Kay's farm, consigned to White at the Hawksburn station, where on arrival, samples were taken by Board of Health inspectors Mr Bruce Tulloch Paton, deputy Government analyst said that the sample contained 18 per cent of added water.

Mrs McKay who gave way to emotion gave sworn evidence stating that she sold nothing but pure milk from the cow. She would take her oath on that a thousand times. Her daughters milked the cows and she saw them seal the can up.

When asked how could she account for one sample that was taken containing more added water than the others, Mrs M Kay said that it might be owing to a change of food. The Bench expressed regret that Mrs M Kay was not represented by a solicitor and fined her £ 5, with £2/1/ costs. A similar fine was imposed on second charge.

The Argus, Tuesday 29 September 1908

The People's Food - Low Grade Milk
Yesterday Richard Andrew Escott and A. H. St John Cock, dairy farmers of Clyde, were charged at the District Court with having kept milk for sale which was below the standard required by the regulations of the Pure Food Act. Inspector Mellis of the Public Health Board, said that on October 12 he had obtained samples of the milk purveyed by defendants and forwarded one to the Government analyst. Mr Dowling, deputy Government analyst, stated that the sample was slightly deficient in fatty solids, but it was not a bad case. For the defendants it was urged that at that season of the year milk was liable to become deficient in fatty solids. The Bench imposed a fine of 10/- with £2/3/ cost
The Argus, Tuesday 14 December 1909

The People's Food - Milk Below Standard
At the Caulfield Court on Friday,
A. French, dairy farmer, Clyde was charged with forwarding milk which was below the required standard to Caulfield on October 22, for distribution by a retail dairyman. Defendent stated that as far as he knew the milk was right when sent away from his farm. A fine of £4, with 10/6 costs, was imposed
The Argus, Monday 15 December 1913

Babcock Test

1890 -Babcock, Stephen Moulton,
Agricultural research chemist, often called the father of scientific dairying chiefly because of his development of the Babcock test, a simple method of measuring the butterfat content of milk. Introduced in 1890, the test discouraged milk adulteration, stimulated improvement of dairy production, and aided in factory manufacture of cheese and butter.

Clyde Dairy Industry Stories - click the headings below for more
1901- 1930 Dairy Industry Impact Dairy Industry-Keith Escott remembers
Dairying- Perce Hardy Remembers Dairymen Fined for Adding Water to Milk