Spreading the news


Sir, – Laura Slattery notes in her wonderfully headlined article “Sales of spreads soften as butter enters golden era” (April 11th) that, pursuant to the Margarine Act 1887, “prosecutions for butter fraud were in and out of the courts”.

As it happens, the Margarine Act 1887 is still on the statute books, having somehow survived our periodic culls of out-of-date legislation. In an example of highly technical legal draughtsmanship, section 3 of the Act opens with the immortal words of definition: “The word “butter” shall mean the substance usually known as butter. . .”

I know it when I see it, indeed! – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.