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the coloring matter used for coloring butter, and there are many vegetable colorings used. Butterine and oleomargarine are artificial butter, made up of oleo (from beef fat) churned with lard, milk and salt. The oleo oil, however, frequently contains cotton-seed oil, so that even oleomargarine may be adulterated. Paraffin is frequently added to oleomargarine to give it a firm appearance. Renovated butter is old butter melted and treated with air to remove the rancid odor. It is frequently kept in the shops in small tubs, and sometimes sold as dairy butter. The paper wrapped around the tub, impressing the customer as an evidence of cleanliness, serves to cover the label.
In canned goods the object is to retain the taste and color of the original article: Bulging of a can is quite suggestive of decomposition. Catsup, sauces and pickles have coloring added to them. Alum is added to pickles to harden them. Horseradish and turnip are added to catsup as an adulterant. Copper sulphate is added to give the green color to pickles and the boiling of peas in a copper kettle will cause them to retain their green color.
Jams and jellies are adulterated with refuse apple jelly. Coloring matter and gelatin are added to make them attractive.
Honey has been palmed off on the public which was only 1% genuine-on top-the rest being glucose. This adulteration is a fraud on the public, but it is not injurious to health. Gelatin, cane sugar, and glucose are used to adulterate honey. Stained honey is easily adulterated. A simple test is to add strong alcohol; if the specimen is pure honey, it will mix with only a slight precipitate, while glucose leaves a heavy precipitate of dextrin.
Glucose and coloring matters are used in nearly all candies as adulterants. Syrups are adulterated with glucose. Cheap cane sugar is colored with caramel. Lard is adulterated with cotton-seed oil and beef fat. Tallows and fats bleached absolutely white mix easily with lard.
The above illustrations will give an idea of how food has been adulterated in this country. After many debates a pure food law was finally secured. Sentiment had at last been aroused and a bill was passed. We can hardly realize the tremendous opposition which financially interested parties put up against the bill. The manufacturers of food preparations soon found it more difficult to humbug the people. The pure food bill was passed by both houses of congress in 1906. It prevents the manufacture, sale or transportation of adulterated, misbranded, poisonous or deleterious foods,
, drugs, medicine, and liquors. Immediately after the passage of this law the United States Department of Agriculture began to regulate its operation by designating what, according to the meaning of the law, is adulterated and what is not. It was also necessary to decide what constituted misbranding. This was an enormous work and it has not yet been entirely completed. To give you some idea of the many discriminations that must be made, let me say that sugar can be used in the preparation of any food product, but not for fraudulent purposes. For example, the addition of sugar to sweet corn in canning is forbidden unless the fact is stated on the label. Vegetables kept green by the use of copper are allowed to enter the United States if the label states this fact. Flour blended by the use of nitrogen peroxide is adulterated and cannot be sold under the pure food law.
After a long series of experiments conducted by the government through one of its bureaus designed by law for the purpose, and following the enactment of the food and drugs act, articles of food preserved by benzoate of soda were excluded from interstate commerce as being deleterious to the public health.
This action on the part of the government was embarrassing to two distinct commercial interests--namely, the manufacturers of benzoate of soda and the manufacturers of food products of inferior quality. These interests protested to the government that the original experiments were either defective or at least not conclusive that benzoate of soda as a food preservative was deleterious within the meaning of the law, and demanded a re-investigation of the subject at the hands of an independent commission. The government acceded to this demand and appointed several of the best known physiologic chemists as a referee board of consulting scientific experts with instructions to determine whether or not a food to which benzoate of soda had been added in either large or small quantities contains, by virtue of that fact, "any added poisonous or other deleterious ingredients which may render said food injurious to health.” This referee board then conducted, or caused to be conducted, a series of experiments and at the conclusion of these experiments filed a report unreservedly favorable to benzoate of soda as a food preservative. The government, being virtually precommitted to the findings of its own referees, was thereby induced to rescind its decision and on March 3, 1909, issued a decision to the effect that no objection would be raised to “the use in food of benzoate of soda provided that each container or package of such food is plainly labeled to show the presence and amount of benzoate of soda."
This decision is far-reaching. It affects not only many millions of capital, but the health and lives of many more millions of people. It involves, furthermore, so serious a step as the reversal by a great government of its previously deliberately determined policy. The government may go without criticism as being justified by the report of its chosen referees, but the report upon which so momentous a decision was based must become the object of critical scrutiny.
It is important to remember that benzoate of soda, by virtue of its property as a powerful antiseptic, was used and, since the removal of the ban by the government, is again being used as a preservative of food. Experience amply proves that sound fruits and vegetables, including catsup from sound tomatoes, can be made to keep without the addition of benzoate of soda or any other deleterious medicament. Unsound fruit and slush from canning factories, slush that ought to go only into the sewer, can now be preserved, sold, and extensively consumed as articles of food, by the simple process of first treating them with benzoate of soda. It is to be remembered that the utilization of material which, without the use of benzoate of soda, must go to waste, represents a large margin of profit to certain selfishly commercialized interests, and this fact accounts in large part for the pressure brought to bear upon the government to reverse its original position.
Our government now allows the food manufacturers to use benzoate of soda for adulterating any of our foods and in this respect we are practically back where we were before the pure food law was passed.
This does not imply that the pure food and drug law is useless; far from that. If it did nothing but prevent misbranding of food and drugs, it would be valuable. We do not see mineral waters now advertised as curealls as in former days. Many of these waters claimed on their labels to cure all stomach, liver, kidney and bladder troubles, rheumatism, gout, and blood diseases. These claims the government declared false and fraudulent.
During these war times there is a fear that our Pure Food and Drugs Act will not be properly enforced. I am glad to note, however, that the Bureau of Chemistry of the Department of Agriculture is giving its full attention to the law, as some of its late reports clearly show. Efficient government protection along these lines, especially during the war, is of great benefit to the public, and is appreciated by the medical and pharmacal professions.
The Relation of the Inhalation Anesthetics to Modern
By HARRY R. TRICK, M, D., F. A. C. S.,
Buffalo, New York,
Instructor in Oral Surgery, Dental Department; Instructor in General Surgery, Medical Department, University of Buffalo. Assistant Attending Surgeon,
Buffalo General Hospital.
It is very difficult, if not quite impossible, for the presentday surgeon to visualize the handicaps under which those worked who practiced in the pre-anesthetic days.
Our occasional experience of performing some slight operation without an anesthetic will give us a faint idea of the harrowing experiences they were frequently obliged to undergo and from which there seemed to be no escape.
A thoughtful consideration of their predicament should excite little wonder that they generally attempted to evade what many times must have seemed to be their real duty, and instead to perform hurried, incomplete and sacrificial operations as compared to the deliberate, thorough, and conservative procedures of today.
The wonder is that they were able to do so well as they did!
We all can bear witness to the statement that of all the pains to which flesh is heir, none is more unnerving than the pain incident to some acute dental pathology and the attempt to combat or remove this pathology without the aid of some anesthetic causes a shock to the patient that may be difficult to overcome and a loss of nervous energy in the surgeon that frequently repeated would lead to exhaustion.
It must have been because of the relatively frequent repetition of such experiences that the hope was kept constantly in their minds that some day some pain-killing substance would be produced, but their experiences did not prompt many of them to make any very serious attempt to discover it.
Even if we make all manner of generous excuses for them we must admit that their faith was too child-like, if not censurable, because-“We must all remember that the thought of painless surgery did not burst upon the world de novo in the year 1846 when Morton gave the first public demonstration of ether anesthesia. Running through all medical history, there is a constant reference to the abolishing of pain, and even among the ancients many fairly successful attempts were made.”
Viewed from our standpoint, another inexplicable oversight was the fact that for a number of years prior to 1846 it had been the custom to give what were known as “ether frolics” as part of an evening's entertainment and to exhibit the effects of laughing-gas on the stage and in halls of learning.
It frequently happened that during these exhibitions some of the participants would be severely bruised without apparently being aware of the injury and this fact was noted and commented upon, but it remained for Horace Wells, a dentist of Hartford, Conn., to apply these facts to his professional needs.
Unfortunately, his attempted demonstration in the Massachusetts General Hospital was a failure, probably due to faulty technique, and the general use of nitrous-oxide in surgery was thereby considerably delayed.
Morton, however, worked along different lines. He seems to have been of a crafty nature. He was familiar with the work of Wells, in fact, they had been at one time partners, but he was not satisfied with the effects of nitrous-oxide as then administered, so he continued a search for a more satisfactory agent.
He received the suggestion to use sulphuric ether from Dr. Chas. T. Jackson, a prominent and versatile physician of Boston, who acted as preceptor to Morton when he matriculated in Harvard Medical School.
Morton immediately tried out the effect of ether on himself and sundry patients. He also experimented with a variety of masks for its , administration and continued to receive valuable advice and information from Dr. Jackson but all these various endeavors he carried out furtively, until the time of the public demonstration at the Massachusetts General Hospital, October 16, 1846. Even then he attempted to make it appear that he had discovered a new and mysterious drug by disguising the odor with aromatic oils and naming the combination “letheon.”
The effect of the announcement of the success of the demonstration was electrical and was the direct cause of the subsequent exhibition of the most sordid greed by all the parties named.
Horace Wells and E. E. Marcy of Hartford had also been using ether at this time but considered it too dangerous, although, they did not discontinue its use until it had been