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TESTIMONY OF DR. ECCLES
The most spectacular of the witnesses who appeared against the bill was Dr. Eccles of Brooklyn. Dr. Eccles describes himself as a physician residing in Brooklyn and he appears at the invitation of the National Food Manufacturers' Association. There was evidently a period approaching when some kind of food law would be enacted. To protect the manufacturers a bill was introduced by Mr. Rodenberg, of Illinois. Mr. Lannen, a lawyer in the interest of this measure, who had been actively opposed to the pending bill, was also present at the hearing. Dr. Eccles stressed the fact that instead of trying to prevent the addition of preservatives to foods their use ought to be encouraged. Quoting (from page 131):
MR. RICHARDSON: Is vinegar deleterious?
DR. ECCLES: No, Sir; I do not think anything is. I would compel them to use substances less deleterious than vinegar. I would not let them go below vinegar. I would allow them to use substances the dose of which is smaller than a dose of acetic acid or vinegar. Substances of larger doses than vinegar I would allow them to put in a certain fraction of the dose, and I would make the fraction the same for every substance, with no exception. I would have those gentlemen fixing the Pharmacopoeia say that no substance could be used that is stronger than the acid of vinegar under any circumstances. * * * In other places, where the preservatives have been stopped, the death rate has risen. Two notable illustrations have occurred lately--exceedingly notable. In North Dakota, the state of pure food--Senator McCumber's state--they tried the experiment. In Germany, particularly in Berlin, in the same year they tried the experiment. These two places were put up as tests. I predicted that the death rate in both those places would rise fifty per cent in that year. Now, what are the official figures? The official figures given by the Board of Health of the State of North Dakota and the :figures of the German Government in their own publications show that they transcended my prediction; that the deaths were nearly three times as many as they were during the same period the year before.
THE CHAIRMAN: From what cause?
DR. ECCLES: I predicted it would occur if they stopped the use of preservatives, and it did occur just as I predicted from the stopping of the use of preservatives. In no other place in the world did the death rate rise as in Berlin, and in no other state in the United States did it rise as it did in North Dakota.
THE CHAIRMAN: The use of what preservatives was stopped?
DR. ECCLES: All.