United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144 (1938)

Case Name: United States v. Carolene Products Co.
Citation: 304 U.S. 144 (1938)

Issue: Whether the Federal “Filled Milk Act” infringes the Fifth Amendment.

Facts: The “Filled Milk Act” prohibits the shipment in interstate commerce of skimmed milk mixed with any fat or oil (other than milk fat) in order to resemble milk. Carolene Product Co. was indicted for violating the act for shipping “Milnut.” The indictment stated that Milnut “is an adulterated article of food, injurious to the public health.”

Holding: The prohibition of Carolene’s product in interstate commerce does not infringe the Fifth Amendment.

Reasoning: The Court ruled similarly twenty years ago in Hebe Co. v. Shaw in regards to a similar state law. Also, evidence, showing such products are a danger to the public health, sustains the statute.
“Legislation that affects ordinary commercial transaction is not to be pronounced unconstitutional unless…it does not rest on some rational basis within the knowledge and experience of the legislators.”

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