Public misunderstanding regarding chemicals in food must be corrected by the food industry itself, Dr. R. C. Newton. vice president of Swift & Company in charge of research, said May 27, 1952.

Speaking at the 43rd annual convention of the Flavoring Extract Manufacturers' Association at Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel, Dr. Newton said chemicals play an important role in future progress in the food industry. However, he advocated thorough testing of new substances before they are used.

Pointing out that actually all foods are chemical. Dr. Newton said for centuries man has used many chemicals in processing his foods.

“These chemicals have stood the test of time and are universally accepted as wholesome”, he said. “There is no logical reason, therefore, why the public sometimes should give the word ‘chemical’ a sinister connotation.”

“Safety is the first and by all odds the most important consideration with respect to human food. The food industry has always subscribed to the principle of safety first and by and large is favorable to a compulsory program for pre-testing of all new chemical substances in food. Our industry must make its position clear on this point.

“It is time the various segments of the food industry announce in unequivocal terms the high standard of ethics which has in the past and will in the future be its guide.

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Author notes

*Address delivered at the 43rd Annual Convention of the Flavoring Extract Manufacturers' Association of the United States at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, Chicago, May 27, 1952.

Dr. Roy C. Newton, vice-president of Swift & Company, in charge of research, is prominently active in many scientific organizations.

These include The American Chemical society, The American Institute of Chemical Engineers The Institute of Food Technologists, The Industrial Research Institute, The American Oil Chemists' society, Sigma Xi, and The American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Recently, he was chosen to receive the 1952 Medal of the Industrial Research Institute, Inc. Among his other awards are the Nicholas Appert Award of the Institute of Food Technologists, the Honor Scroll of the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Chemists, and the Agricultural Alumni Certificate of Distinction by Purdue University.

Dr. Newton has held his present executive position with Swift & Company since 1941. He joined the company in 1924 serving first as Research Chemist, Assistant Chief Chemist, and then Chief Chemist prior to assuming his present post.

A native of El Reno, Oklahoma, Dr. Newton has a Bachelors degree from Oklahoma A & M and a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry cum laude from the University of Chicago.