62 Cases of Jam v. United States

62 Cases of Jam v. United States

Supreme Court of the United States

Argued March 5–6, 1951
Decided March 26, 1951

Full case name
62 Cases, More or Less, Each Containing Six Jars of Jam v. United States

340 U.S. 593 (more)

Prior history
United States v. 62 Cases of Jam, 87 F. Supp. 735 (D.N.M. 1949), rev’d, United States v. 62 Cases, More or Less, Containing Six Jars of Jam, Etc., 183 F.2d 1014 (10th Cir. 1950).


An imitation jam labeled “imitation” did not violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act’s prohibition on “mislabeled” food products.

Court membership

Chief Justice
Fred M. Vinson

Associate Justices
Hugo Black · Stanley F. Reed
Felix Frankfurter · William O. Douglas
Robert H. Jackson · Harold H. Burton
Tom C. Clark · Sherman Minton

Case opinions

Frankfurter, joined by Vinson, Reed, Jackson, Burton, Clark, Minton

Douglas, joined by Black

Laws applied

Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

62 Cases of Jam v. United States, 340 U.S. 593 (1951), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that “imitation jam,” so labeled, was not a “misbranded” product under § 403 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, 21 U.S.C. § 343, even though it did not meet federal regulations for being fruit jam.


1 Background
2 Opinion of the Court
3 Subsequent developments
4 References
5 External links

The case arose on a libel, that is, an in rem condemnation action filed by the government to seize the jam for being in violation of federal law. The jam, a product called “Delicious Brand Imitation Jam,” had been manufactured in Colorado and shipped to New Mexico, where the government libeled it.[1] The jars were assorted flavors of grape, strawberry, apricot, plum, peach and blackberry, and “contained 55% sugar, 25% fruit and 20% of a water solution of pectin.”[2] Federal jam regulations, however, as promulgated by the Federal Security Administrator, required that fruit jams contain a higher proportion of fruit to sugars.[3] And although the jars themselves were labeled “Imitation [name of flavor] Jam,” the parties stipulated that these jams were

served by hotel dining rooms, restaurants and other public eating places to their patrons as fruit jam, without disclosure that the containers from which the food was taken were labeled ‘Imitation Jam’; that retail grocery stores advertised such jams