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United States v. Carolene Products Company

A Dispute Over Filled Milk

In 1923, Congress passed the "Filled Milk Act," a law which banned the shipment of "skimmed milk compounded with any fat or oil other than milk fat, so as to resemble milk or cream." It acted under its constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce, in hopes of preventing the distribution of what it called an "adulterated article of food, injurious to the public health." The Carolene Products Company of Illinois was indicted under the law after it attempted to market a product called "Milnut," a flavorful combination of condensed skimmed milk and coconut oil designed to seem like condensed milk or cream. The company protested the indictment, arguing that the Filled Milk Act exceeded Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce and deprived the company of its property without due process. The District Court for Southern Illinois ruled in favor of the Carolene Products Company, prompting the United States to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940United States v. Carolene Products Company - A Dispute Over Filled Milk, High Court Rules, Debate And Dissent