Sunday, March 30, 2008

Knights of a New Dark Age: the USDA, APhA, AMA, Harvey Wiley, Samuel Adams Hopkins, and William Randolph Hearst

From my unpublished manuscript "Coca- Forgotten Medicine"

Harvey Washington Wiley
b. October 30, 1844 - d. June 30, 1930
These were the main visible players in the early 1900s crusade to stymie the sale and use of Coca within the industrialized world, in that nation that would be instrumental in pushing this crusade internationally and universally, starting in the USA

The United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A) was founded under the Administration of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 to further the interests of US agriculture. According to its web site in 2005 in a letter from its Secretary Mike Johnson:
• USDA is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products.
• USDA is a research leader in everything from human nutrition to new crop technologies that allow us to grow more food and fiber using less water and pesticides.
• USDA helps ensure open markets for U.S. agricultural products and provides food aid to needy people overseas.!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?navtype=MA&navid=ABOUT_USDA

The American Pharmaceutical Association, a private group, was founded in 1852 to further the interests of its members. According to its web site in 2005;
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the national professional society of pharmacists, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is the first-established and largest professional association of pharmacists in the United States. The more than 50,000 members of APhA include practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and others interested in advancing the profession.

The Association is a leader in providing professional information and education for pharmacists and an advocate for improved health of the American public through the provision of comprehensive pharmaceutical care.
The American Medical Association is a private group funded in 1856 to further the interests of its members.

Harvey Washington Wiley, born 1844, died 1930, held important positions within the U.S.D.A. (Bureau of Chemistry Chief: 1883-1912), the APhA and the AMA, who got his start in the analysis of sugars as a sugar-industry consultant, and who became active in the crusade against Coca as a “habit-forming” substance around 1904. According to the biography of him on the web site of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

Harvey Washington Wiley was born in a log farmhouse in Indiana, in 1844. A top graduate of Hanover College (1867), Wiley then studied at Indiana Medical College where he received his M.D. in 1871. After he graduated, Wiley accepted a position teaching chemistry at the medical college, where he taught Indiana's first laboratory course in chemistry beginning in 1873. Following a brief interlude at Harvard, where he was awarded a B.S. degree after only a few months of intense effort, he accepted a faculty position in chemistry at the newly opened Purdue University in 1874. In 1878, Wiley traveled overseas where he attended the lectures of August Wilhelm von Hoffman the celebrated German discoverer of several organic tar derivatives, including analine. While in Germany, Wiley was elected to the prestigious German Chemical Society founded by Hoffman. Wiley spent most of his time in the Imperial Food Laboratory in Bismarck working with Eugene Sell, mastering the use of the polariscope and studying sugar chemistry. Upon his return to Purdue, Wiley was asked by the Indiana State Board of Health to analyze the sugars and syrups on sale in the state to detect any adulteration. He spent his last years at Purdue studying sorghum culture and sugar chemistry, hoping, as did others, to help the United States develop a strong domestic sugar industry. His first published paper in 1881 discussed the adulteration of sugar with glucose.

Wiley was offered the position of Chief Chemist in the U. S. Department of Agriculture by George Loring, the Commissioner of Agriculture, in 1882. Loring was seeking to replace Peter Collier, his current Chief Chemist, with someone who could employ a more objective approach to the study of sorghum, the potential of which as a sugar source, was far from proven. Wiley accepted the offer after being passed over for the presidency of Purdue, allegedly because he was "too young and too jovial," unorthodox in his religious beliefs, and also a bachelor. Wiley brought with him to Washington a practical knowledge of agriculture, a sympathetic approach to the problems of agricultural industry and an untapped talent for public relations. After assisting Congress in their earliest questions regarding the safety of the chemical preservatives then being employed in foods, Wiley was appropriated $5,000 in 1902 to study the effects of a diet consisting in part of the various preservatives on human volunteers. These famous "poison squad" studies drew national attention to the need for a federal food and drug law. Wiley soon became a crusader and coalition builder in support of national food and drug regulation which earned him the title of "Father of the Pure Food and Drugs Act" when it became law in 1906.1 Wiley authored two editions of Foods and Their Adulteration (1907 and 1911), which detailed for a broad audience the history, preparation and subsequent adulteration of basic foodstuffs. He was also a founding father of the Association of Official Analytic Chemists, and left a legacy to the American pure food movement as its "crusading chemist" that was both broad and substantial.

The fact that enforcement of the federal Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 was given to the Bureau of Chemistry rather than placed in the Department of Commerce or the Department of the Interior is a tribute to the scientific qualifications which the Bureau of Chemistry brought to the study of food and drug adulteration and misbranding. The first food and drug inspectors were hired to complement the work of the laboratory scientists, and an inspection program was launched which revolutionized the country's food supply within the first decade under the new federal law. Wiley's tenure, however, was marked by controversy over the administration of the 1906 statute which he had worked so hard to secure. Concerns over preserving chemicals, which had not been specifically addressed in the law, continued to be controversial. The Secretary of Agriculture appointed a Referee Board of Consulting Scientists, headed by Ira Remsen at Johns Hopkins to repeat Wiley's human trials of preservatives. The use of saccharin, bleached flour, caffeine, and benzoate of soda were all important issues which had to be ultimately settled by the courts in the early days under the new law. Under Wiley's leadership, however, the Bureau of Chemistry grew significantly, both in strength and in stature after assuming responsibility for the enforcement of the 1906 Act. Between 1906 and 1912, Wiley's staff expanded from 110 to 146 and in 1910 the Bureau moved into its own building. Appropriations, which had been only $155,000 in 1906 were $963,780 in 1912.

In 1912, Wiley resigned and took over the laboratories of Good Housekeeping Magazine [a William Randolph Hearst publication] where he established the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and worked tirelessly on behalf of the consuming public. Harvey Wiley died at his home in Washington in 1930, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
*Although the Pure Food and Drug Act was signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt on June 6, 1906, it did not become effective until Jan. 1, 1907. Dr. Wiley had been conducting laboratory studies on food adulteration as part of his job with the Department of Agriculture since 1883.

Wiley would be lionized by a series of articles and books, including those by some of his employees, as some sort of “quack-buster”.

The FDA Commissioner's Special Citation medal is the highest award the agency bestows on citizens or organizations who promote public health. The bronze medallion bears the likeness of Dr. Harvey Wiley, considered the "father of the FDA." Wiley, a chemist and medical doctor, began his career in the 1870s exposing the adulteration of food products with cheaper ingredients. He was later named the federal government's chief chemist. Wiley was instrumental in securing passage of the landmark Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906, the first of several legislative acts that led to the creation of the modern FDA in 1931.
Wiley would also be reassessed, owing to numerous example of his twisting science via employing gross double standards to suit political agendas, including when this grossly undermined his stated principle or protecting consumers from dangerous goods. According to The Politics of Purity Harvey Washington Wiley and the Origins of Federal Food Policy by Clayton A. Coppin and Jack High

Spearheaded by Harvey Washington Wiley, the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 launched the federal regulation of food and drugs in the United States. Wiley is often lauded as a champion of public interest for bringing about a law that required healthful ingredients and honest labeling. Clayton Coppin and Jack High demonstrate, however, that Wiley was in fact surreptitiously allied with business firms that would benefit from regulation and moreover, that the law would help him build his government agency, the Federal Bureau of Chemistry.

Coppin and High discuss such issues as Wiley's efforts to assign the law's enforcement to his own bureau. They go on to expose the selectivity of Wiley's enforcement of the law, in which he manipulated commercial competition in order to reward firms that supported him and penalize those that opposed him. By examining the history of the law's movement, the authors show that, rather than acting in the public interest, Wiley used the Pure Food and Drugs Act to further his own power and success. Finally, they analyze government regulation itself as the outcome of two distinct competitive processes, one that takes place in the market, the other in the polity.
The book will interest scholars concerned with government regulation, including those in economics, political science, history, and business.
Clayton Coppin is a management consultant and historian, Koch Industries, Wichita.
Jack High is Professor of Economics, George Mason University.

According to one review:
Traditional scholarship about health and safety regulation portrayed government programs as the good guys and corporations as the bad guys. Gabriel Kolko and George Stigler make us realize that much government regulation of the economy was in fact requested rather then resisted by business.

A modified version of the Stigler Kolko analysis is now in the ascendancy among regulatory scholars. Regulation is now seen as the result of complex competitive interaction between some firms seeking to reduce competition from some other firms and some agencies seeking to grow relative to other agencies within the government. This gem of a book, the result of the collaboration between a historian and an economist, tells the story of the Pure Food and Drug Act as a complex interaction between various food and beverage companies and a government agency, The Bureau of Chemistry (of the USDA), that was threatened with extinction.

Harvey Washington Wiley, the main author and proponent of the Pure Food and drug Act, traditionally has been viewed by the press and scholars as the defender of pure food and honest labeling. But as the authors point out, the conflicts engendered by Wiley’s proposals to regulate the manufactured food industry “were not contest between good and evil, or purity and adulteration, or honesty and fraud. They were contests over who would benefit and lose from regulatory activity” (p169). Coppin and High continue: "[Wiley’s] enforcement of the act did not improve the health of the consumer….If anything, Wiley’s enforcement worsened the ability of consumers to make informed judgments about food and drugs.” (p167)… “In short”, they say, “none of the lion’s share of his enforcement efforts furthered the interests of the consumer in any significant way.” (p.168).
The story of the Pure Food and Drug Act, as told by Coppin and High, reveals one of the “chief dangers” of regulation in a democratic society, namely, that “personal opinion and special interest can masquerade as objective science and public good, thereby corrupting even potentially useful law."(p.171).

Although Wiley was well-known for his “poison” squad experiments upon the toxicities of various food substances, he never produced any such results for Coca or even isolated cocaine.

Samuel Hopkins Adams
b. January 26, 1871 - d. November 15, 1958

Samuel Adams Hopkins was a writer hired by William Randolph Hearst and directed to work with Harvey Wiley, in what the pro-Wiley historian James Harvey Young has described as a "hand-in-glove-relationship” to produce a series of articles against non-patentable medicinal herbal preparations: ironically titled “The Great American Fraud”.

b. April 29, 1863 - d. August 14, 1951

William Randolph Hearst was a major media tycoon who eventually owned dozens of newspapers and magazines in the US and elsewhere in the English speaking world, who became a collector of antiquities imported from or through Europe, and was well-connected with the Vatican.

Hearst's papers no-holds barred attacks on Coca preparations were particularly vicious and clever; though avoided even mentioning Coca, their juxtaposition of articles almost seemed designed to undermine the existing legitimate markets in licit Coca preparations. An example was the Tuesday, January 15, 1907 The New York Evening Journal bannering a picture of New York State legislator Alfred E. Smith beneath the headline "Bill in Legislature to Smash Cocaine Traffic" (with the bill's fine print about "or any preparation", next to an article "People Taking Fewer Patent Medicines" – which, as the term “patent medicines” was being mis-defined, would include Coca preparations as Vin Mariani.

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