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On the strength of a report issued in December last by Mr. George Crump, acting British Consul at Philadelphia, much excitement has arisen over the pork product of the United States. This Association has made an extended investigation of the subject in the interests of American producers and finds there is no occasion whatever for the scare.
By a careful reading of Mr. Crump's report, which created the alarm, it will be seen that there is no foundation for any excitement, Mr. Crump speaks of Hog Cholera, not of Trichinosis, as the prevalent disease. That the former exists and has existed to an extent most injurious to producers, it would be folly to deny, but it has not affected the pork product, for the reason that animals dying from this or any other disease, are not and cannot be marketed for food. From Cholera the farmer and the farmer only is the sufferer.
Instead of denying the existence of cholera amongst bogs, means should be employed to obtain a cure for it, and it would be well for the government to aid in the extinction of this and other diseases of animals. A commission having a thoroughly practical man at its head, could undoubtedly produce satisfactory results. A few thousand dollars could be very wisely and beneficially spent by the government in this matter.
Trichinosis exists but to a more limited extent probably than any disease known to man. It is believed never to injure the hog, and scientific experts unite in the statement that it never can enter the human system except through insufficiently cooked meat, in which it should happen to exist. These are the simple facts with regard to it. As to the danger from the use of American pork products either by home or foreign consumers, there is absolutely none, first, from an almost total absence of Trichinosis ; second, through protection by cooking. The curers of provisions in the United States are amongst the most honorable, pains taking, skilled merchants and manufacturers, whose interest is in putting up only the best and purest products. The pains they take, and the methods they practice, is a guarantee against danger.
A good deal of bad temper without reason has been shown in the discussion of this matter, and as already suggested it has been on false premises. It would have been judicious to have first ascertained just what Mr. Crump said, and since there have been frauds committed in our products, it was hardly fair to blame him for exposing them. On the contrary it. would be more useful to endeavor to exterminate them. Careful investigation shows that. Mr. Crump had no intention of being unfair. He was zealous in the aim to protect his . people from impure and unhealthy food. It would be well if our officials would show as. much zeal in this direction.
Suine or lard butter and Anti-Huff cheese are referred to by Mr. Crump. The former is. a fraud and swindle that deserves the severest condemnation, but it cannot be dangerous to health, as lard can only be rendered at a temperature that will kill animalculæ. Oleomar. garine is as iniquitous a compound as suine. Against the manufacture and sale of both there should be prohibitory laws, because of the injury they have done to producers and consumers of natural butter. They have been a curse to the country and its farmers. Anti-Huff cheese is an article of cheese made from milk, from which all the cream has been taken, and in place of which a small percentage of lard is incorporated. Sold under its proper name it need cause no prejudice against American cheese. Only two small factories are yet in existence and none in the West, as Mr. Crump has been led to believe. It is proper to observe that none of these adulterations are chargeable to the farmer. He is interested in preserving the
*) This article and accompanying matter was issued as the first special Bulletin of the Association.
character and reputation of his products. The adulterations have been introduced and are manufactured solely by speculators, who are regardless of the country's prosperity, when it conflicts with their interests.
Every attention should be given to the matter of keeping our food products pure and beyond suspicion, On this our future prosperity as a nation hinges, for if we loose our export trade in produce, we may close our doors and vacate our farms.
NEW YORK PRODUCE EXCHANGE.
NEW YORK, March 15, 1881. MR. J. H. REALL, Sec’y, 127 Water Street, City :
My Dear Sir :-Your note of the 12th inst. received. The Agricultural Department has not yet made its usual annual report of the number of hogs in the United States on January 1st, 1881. The number on January 1st, 1880, was 34,034,100,
1st, 1879, 34,766, 200,
32,262,500, The exports from all United States Ports to all foreign countries for the years ended Deceniber 31st, have been in
E. H. WALKER, Statistician. S. H. GRANT, Superintendent. Extract from a despatch from Mr. CRUMP, Acting British Consul at Philadelphia,
to Earl GRANVILLE, dated December 21, 1880. “From a sanitary point of view it may not be impertinent to call Lordship's attention to the immense mortality among swine by a disease known as "Hog Cholera,” of which about 700,000 head have died this
year in Illinois. Immense quantities of pork are annually shipped to the United Kingdom, and as the disease “trichina spiralis” seems to be on the increase in this country the subject is not unworthy of attention. Two persons recently died in Milwaukee and one in Chicago. In the latter city several people are ill with it at the present time, and one entire family, attacked about a month ago, are not yet out of danger. A case just reported from Kansas, describes the symptoms of the disease, when it attacks the human family. In this case the victim is a farmer. He had been ill for some time and became much reduced in flesh. Upon consulting a physician trichinæ were found, worms were in his flesh by the millions, being scraped and squeezed from the pores of the skin. They are felt creeping through his flesh and are literally eating up his substance. The disease is thought to have been contracted by eating sausages.
“Trichina spiralis may be conveyed to human beings, it is thought, by gross adulterations used in the manufacture of butter and cheese, of which there is some exportation to England. The former is adulterated with lard and grease, which, in many cases, are taken from the places where hogs die of diseases, and then rendered into grease, glue, etc., and the latter by a commodity called “anti-buff'."
The following letters from the largest and most successful Pork Packers in the United States, who together put up ninety per cent of the Provisions, exported from this country, are a complete answer :
INDIANAPOLIS, IND., March 28, 1881. J. H. REALL, Esq., Sec'y American Agricultural A88'n :
Dear Sir :-Your favor concerning “ Trichinosis” is received. We kill 200,000 hogs per year. We have never heard of anyone being injured by eating the Ferguson brand of meats. Possibly one hog in several thousand may be diseased in some way.
We regard the sensation as humbug. Probably rotten meat has killed some who ate it. It ought to have done so. We know of no way a Packer can detect trichinosis in a hog, and we imagine that very little is seen in human beings, save by doctors who need advertising.
Yours very truly,
J. C. FERGUSON & CO.
INDIANAPOLIS, IND., March 2d, 1881. I. H. REALL, Esq., Sec'y American Agricultural Ass'n, New York:
Dear Sir :-Your favor of 25th ult., received to-day. We know nothing whatever about the disease amongst swine called “Trichinosis." We have for many years knowu that a disease called by this name was at times prevalent in Germany, caused by eating uncooked pork or sausage, but the instances of like disease either in this country or Great Britain, ascribed to pork consumption, either cooked or uncooked, have been so rare, the trade has not taken any notice of it. We have never heard of hogs being diseased by - Trichinosis" or dying from its effects.
Our average yearly packing is about 450,000 hogs, and our average shipments to Great Britain of Hams and Bacon about two thousand boxes weekly. Our live hogs are carefully selected when purchasing at our stockyards or elsewhere, and all that can be detected showing signs of sickness are rejected, seller disposing of such rejection elsewhere. Pens in which sick hogs are numerous, we decline to buy at any price. Our brand stands amongst the highest in Great Britain, and we have never heard a complaint from any of our customers of our meats being diseased or carrying germs of disease to the consumer. The greatest possible care is taken after meats are cured, to have them thoroughly inspected before packing for shipment abroad, and as further precaution we employ independent inspectors to examine samples of all our meats at port of shipment.
We are of course aware of the recent prohibition order of the French government and its prejudicial effects on the trade in this country, causing at once a large shrinkage in value, and lately hurting the demand everywhere. We are, however, satisfied, the English government, though they may take some precaution to protect their subjects from disease by unsound importations, will never take the matter in hand in so arbitrary a manner as that adopted by the French authorities.
KINGAN & CO., (Limited.)
KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 3d, 1881, J. H. REALL, Esq., Sec'y American Agricultural Ass'n, New York:
Dear Sir:-Replying to yours of 28th ult., in regard to our facilities for discovering the disease among swine, known as “Trichinosis,” we beg to say we have never seen any cases among swine in this section of the country, and have never had occasion to make rigid examination. In our opinion, the reports published in regard to the prevalence of the disease, have been largely exaggerated, and upon further examination, will prove that there is not as much Trichina as has been reported.
PLANKINTON & ARMOUR.
MILWAUKEE, March 3d, 1881. MR. J. H. REALL, Sec'y, New York:
Dear Sir :-Your favor of the 28th uit. duly at hand, and noted in reply to your question as to the dangers in using the flesh of swine, would say with all candor, that we do not feel there is any, or any cause for alarm. We do not think there are as many deaths caused by “Trichine," as by the use of Tobacco from “Nicotine.” We slaughter from five hundred to as many thousands swine per day, according to arrivals, season of year, &c. We use all ordinary care in the inspection of these animals, and reject all that are unfit for use, having people in our employ, who are experts in their way, and know by the appearance of the flesh
as well as by the sense of smell, which are sound or unsound. Now, as for the grounds for the late reports which have been made, would say there is none, and then, that they have in a large degree originated in the brains of some of our intrepid speculators, for aims and purposes best known to themselves, and which we will not attempt to fathom. We know that the world has used a large amount of American provisions and that they must continue to do so. We will be pleased to have the results of your investigations.
PLANKINTON & ARMOUR.
CHICAGO, March 5th, 1881. MR. J. H. REALL, Sec'y American Agricultural Ass'n, New York :
Dear Sir :-Your communication of the 28th ult. duly received. We have no informs. tion of any value to impart in regard to Trichinosis. We slaughtered during the past winter some three hundred and sixty thousand (360,000) hogs, which were, with few exceptions, good, sound, healthy hogs. The exceptions were a few sick ones, which are occasionally found among large droves, and they are never cut up into meats, but put into grease. While we do not make any microscopic examinations of our meats, we use the utmost caution in not packing any but healthy hogs, and have yet to hear of the first instance of Trichinosis being discovered in our meats. We are using Pork daily on our table and feel perfectly safe. We do not take any stock in the present hue and cry on this question, and it appears to us, that it will prove more of a speculative dodge than any real danger.
IRA S. YOUNGLOVE, Pres.,
CHICAGO PACKING & PROVISION Co.
OFFICE OF WILLARD, PARKER & Co., Pork Packers.
DETROIT, Mich., March 19th, 1881. Dear Sir :—There is no talk of trichina among the hogs in our section, nor have we ever known of any. We do not think the hogs in the whole West were ever more free from diseases of all kinds than for the past year. We believe that hog meats are always safe as an article of food when cooked, trichina or no trichina. Of the few deaths that are supposed to have occurred during the last 15 or 20 years in this country from the use of hog meat, we think all or nearly all have been shown to have occurred among those, who from custom eat the meat without cooking. We know of nothing in the mode of rearing and feeding the hogs that should cause this disease to be more prevalent one year than another.
WILLARD, PARKER & CO.
Des Moines lowa, March 21st, 1881. MR. J. H. REALL, 127 Water Street, Nero York:
Dear Sir :- I am in receipt of your favor dated 14th, requesting me to give you all the information I can regarding swine diseases, more especially that termed “Trichinosis.” It would afford me great pleasure to be able to furnish you any information on the subject, but I must confess I know nothing whatever about it, and the term and disease alluded to, were never heard of here until the papers gave publicity to same. Whether you give us credit for ignorance on the subject, or the hog in this district entire immunity from the disease, rests with yourself, but it is nevertheless a fact that nobody here knows anything about it. If a hog iš sick and dies, it is put down to cholera. We are in a very good hog-growing country, and usually our hogs are very fine, and we seldom hear of any disease among them. I would like to give you some information, but it is a thing we know nothing of here, nor have I ever heard of anyone being attacked with Trichina in this section of country.
W. S. ELLSWORTH,
KANSAS CITY, March 18th, 1881. J. H. REALL, Esq., Sec'y, etc., American Agricultural Ass'n, 127 Water Street, New York:
Dear Sir;-Replying to your favor of 14th inst., will say that during the past twelve: months we have not met with any cases of Trichinosis " in the hoge handled by us.
Very truly yours,
Boston, March 3d, 1881.
Dear Sir :-In reply to your favor of the 28th ult., inquiriug as to the number of hogs : killed by us, the pains taken to detect unhealthy meat and our facilities for detecting it, we would say-we killed 415,864 hogs last year and found but very little disease of any kind. amongst them.