Tuesday, December 16, 2008

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” illegal in Missouri, you felons!

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

State Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, announced today that she “will file a bill to repeal several obsolete and universally ignored provisions of Missouri law dating to the 1890s that restrict the manufacture and sale of imitation butter and in some instances make producing, selling or even possessing such products a crime.”

Among the actions that are illegal under Missouri’s butter laws:

· Manufacturing or selling imitation butter that is yellow (RSMo. 196.755). Virtually all imitation butter sold today is yellow.

· Using the word “butter” in connection to selling or advertising any butter substitute (RSMo. 196.725). Many popular brands, such as “I Can’t Believe It’s not Butter,” run afoul of this section.

· Failing to label packaging for imitation butter with the words “substitute for butter” in Roman type that is at least one inch in length and one-half inch in width (RSMo. 196.760). A spot check of various brands at any supermarket will reveal that none are so labeled.

· Possessing imitation butter that isn’t properly marked, except when possessed for personal consumption (RSMo. 196.780).

Violations of most of the above provisions a carry maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $100 fine for a first offense, with the penalties for subsequent offenses increasing to up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. The exception is RSMo. 196.725, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $100 fine.


moni said...

Ok, you have to be really old to remember when oleomargarine came on the scene, the 50s. It was white, and you also got a little packet of yellow powder or a bead of yellow fluid that you then mixed into the white mixture to make "butter colored" margarine. Lots of these laws went into effect being pushed by the dairy industry. I remember when you could not even purchase margarine of any color in Wisconsin.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Moni brought up a good bit of history there. I'm not as old as all that, but my mom and her mom lived through those times and I still remember the amazement I felt when they told me about "oleo" (which I grew up calling "Nucoa" because here in Oregon, that was the big brand).

A joke which will go over everyone's head from that area when like this:

"I'm looking for my cousin"
"Well, where does he live"
"Out on Oleo Acres"
"Oleo Acres?"
"Yeah, it's one of the lower-priced spreads".

Latterly, here in Oregon, the auto sellers actually want to reinstate a blue law, specifically the one making auto sales illegal on Sundays. This is supposed to help their bottom lines in some way they can't quite adequately explain.

Good times.

Jim said...

Sam-- it does help because it gives people more time when they are off work to shop -- unless it has been changed, Illinois allows "orders" to be taken on Sunday but not actual car sales -- another way around it is to sell the dealership every Saturday night, and then again on Monday morning -- Blue Laws usually allow for sales of an item on Saturday OR Sunday