14 January 1938
Having seen the application lodged by the La Fleurette Dairy Products SA (previously the company La Gradine) whose registered office is at Colombes (Seine), 36-38 Renouillers Street . . . asking that it please the Council to annul the implicit refusal flowing from the failure for over four months of the Minister of Agriculture to respond to the claim put forward by the applicant company for compensation for the damage caused it by the Act of 29 June 1934 on the protection of dairy products;
Having seen the Acts of 29 June 1934 and 24 May 1872 article 9;
Considering that article 1 of the Act of 29 June 1934 on the protection of dairy products provides that manufacturers are forbidden to display, offer for sale or sell, import, export, or transport under the name of cream whether followed or not by a qualifier, or under any fancy name, any product resembling cream and intended to be used as such which is not made entirely from milk, the addition of foreign fat content being particularly forbidden;
Considering that this ban, imposed in the interests of the dairy industry, obliged the applicant company to stop making a product hitherto marketed under the name Gradine which fell within the above-cited statutory definition but which was not alleged to constitute any danger to public health; that nothing, neither in the statute itself and its legislative debates, nor in the surrounding circumstances, gives any reason to think that the legislature intended to make the company bear a burden which does not normally fall on it; that this burden, created in the public interest, must be borne by society as a whole; that it follows that the company La Fleurette is entitled to require that the State be ordered to pay it compensation for its loss;
But considering that the state of the investigation does not permit evaluation of that loss; that it is appropriate to remit the applicant to the Minister of Agriculture in order to assess, in capital and interest, the compensation due to it . . . (Decision annulled; company remitted to the Minister of Agriculture in order to assess the compensation due to it in capital and interest.)
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