The United States Used to Have More Laws Concerning Margarine than Hate Crimes

Share this:

The margarine and dairy industries have been at war since the late 1800s when the lower-cost butter substitute was first invented.

Early on, butter manufacturers believed that if margarine ever became popular it might cut into their sales significantly. And they were right. In order to fight the new product, the dairy industry set out to restricts availability and undercut its appeal in both the courtroom and Capitol Hill.

Dairy industry lobbyists worked both in individual states and also on a federal basis to fight the emerging margarine industry. Congress passed the Margarine Act of 1886, which put a two cent tax on the product, as well as restricted its sale and manufacture.
Above: An advertisement for do-it-yourself margarine coloring, 1948.
In the following years, the pro-butter side managed to pass laws in 32 states either prohibiting margarine manufacturers from coloring their product yellow like butter, or actually requiring them to color it pink, which they hoped would make it less appealing to consumers. Margarine manufacturers began to sell do-it-yourself yellow coloring kits for consumers to buy and use at home to make their butter substitute more palatable as a reaction. Meanwhile, additional federal laws were also passed, the last of which was repealed in 1996.

By contrast, both federal and statewide hate crimes laws are a relatively new invention, with the first federal hate crimes legislation being enacted in the 1990s. To this day, the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers website still refers to the dairy industry as “dairy militants.”

Related Posts

The 9th US President Died of a Cold… Which he May Have Caught at His ... The president who served the shortest period of time after being elected to office was William Henry Harrison. Harrison was president for only 30 days...
President Harry S Truman Didn’t Actually Have a Middle Name For whatever reason, presidents are often known by their middle initial. John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, Harry S. Truman. Although Truman is commo...
Nixon was caught on tape saying of his dying troops in Vietnam: “Scre... Richard Nixon, the thirty-seventh president of the United States (and only ever to resign), famously came into office promising to end the unpopular w...
The White House Sported Solar Panels Until Reagan Removed Them in 1986 Believe it or not, there was a time when the White House was partially-powered by solar panels! But that didn't last, as they were taken down only a f...

Share this:

2 comments on “The United States Used to Have More Laws Concerning Margarine than Hate Crimes”

  1. Rich Compton says:

    That date in the caption for the picture of 1848 is off by 100 years.

  2. Forgotten History Blog Admin says:

    You’re so right, thank you for catching that. Fixed.

Comments are closed.