Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Harvey Wiley's AMA/APA Condemnation of Coca

1905 was the year of Tobacco’s deletion from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia, and hence its shielding by the impending 1906 US Food & Drug Act, from its definitions of regulatable substances, and of the A.M.A. founding its "Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry" consisting of 15 men. (in 1906-07). These included U.S.D.A. Bureau of Chemistry Chief, Harvey Washington Wiley; U.S.D.A. Drug Division Lyman.F. Kleber, A.M.A. General Secretary; and Journal of the American Medical Association J.A.M.A. editor Gene Simmons.

It wasted little time in setting out to condemn the best known Coca product, Vin Mariani, with a report on a Vin Mariani dated March 10, 1905, and published in J.A.M.A. on November 24, 1906, at pages 1751-1753 Vin Mariani Official Report by Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry- With Comments...

This 1905 AMA-APhA report on Vin Marinai saying nothing about health matters, instead condemning Vin Mariani sold in North America as a fraudulent foreign product when such was in fact blended in Mariani's New York (W 15th Street, Manhattan) factory from the identical ingredients used in France where it was initially formulated.

The following 1909 Journal of the American Medical Association article disregards public health issues, juxtapositioning its hypocritical stance against "cocaine" perfectly with its double standards regarding the very substance that the AMA was here placing its highest level of concern regarding "habit-forming agents" by condemning "cocaine" with zero regard to matters of concentration-potency-dose (a coca chewing gum would replicate coca chewing due to the requirement to chew- aka work for that dose), all for the sake of opposing its use in particular as a "Tobacco Habit Cure"; From The Journal of the American Medical Association, May 29,1909:


[The following article by Mr. E.F. Ladd, Food Commissioner of North Dakota, appeared in the October. 11)00, bulletin of the North Dakota Experiment Station.]

We have recently had - occasion to examine a sample of Coca-Bola, a product labeled as having been produced by Charles L. Mitchell, M.D.. Philadelphia, and the face label bears the following statement:

Each ounce contains 0.71 grains 0f cocaln. A chewing paste of leaves of the coca plant, combined with other valuable tonics.

The directions for use say eoca-bola is made in the form of flat cakes or plugs divided into squares and should be used by chewing one of the small squares marked on the plug and swallowing the saliva. They further say it should be used at occasional intervals as needed throughout the day. To get its full effect it will be necessary to use several squares. They further say:
Although a powerful muscular or nervous tonic, coca-bola has no evil after-effects, and hence is far superior tu any other stimulant in the materia medica.
Now this information given out in tlie advertising which accompanies each package is. it would seem, intended to give the impression that this product is an entirely harmless one; in other words, that a preparation containing cocain as an active constituent, is to he generally recommended for use without any caution as to the harm that may come from forming a habit for cocain. They further say:
A small portion chewed occasionally acts as a powerful Ionic to the muscular and nervous system, enabling the chewer to perform additional labor, and also relieves fatigue and exhaustion without evil after-effects. It contains no injurious Ingredients and is perfectly harmless.
So we might quote the circular which is sent out by a man who claims to be a physician, urging, as it were, on the people the use of a product of this kind, which, as has clearly been shown, must in the end result in the formation of the cocain habit, if not in the complete demoralization and degradation of the individual himself.

The laws of North Dakota prohibit the sale of any compound or product in the state which contains cocain in any form. It further prohibits the refilling of a physician's prescription that contains cocain, and yet a product of this kind, it would seem from information that has been gathered, is sold directly to the consumer, although it is true the proprietor of the product maintains that it is now sold only to physicians. In a letter under date of Aug. 19, 1909, signed by Charles L. Mitchell, M.D., he says:
What little we sell now conforms strictly with the requirements of the United States Pure Food and Drug Law, and is sold only on special order of physicians and their prescriptions.

Under date of September 7. I called the attention of the proprietor to the fact that the laws of this state would not permit of the sale of such a preparation in North Dakota. In reply, I received a letter which is self explanatory, as follows:
September 13, 1909. E. F. Ladd, South Dakota Agricultural College, Agricultural College, S.D.

Dear Sir:

Your favor of September 7th duly received for which please accept my thanks.

Owing to the "crank" legislation of many states we have discontinued the manufacture of all coca and cocain preparations.

Any "fool" druggist of your state who gets or fells an old package of our coca-bola does it at his own risk, as necessarily, having been put out some time ago, there is no guarantee, and we will not protect him.

The people are getting a little sense into their beads, however, gradually, and they will sometime realize that preparations of both coca and cocain have an honest and legitimate use by the medical profession.

Your state law is silly, and on a par with the 9-foot bed sheet laws of Texas and Oklahoma Of course, your duty is to enforce the law, not to criticise it. I can do that. I am.

Yours very truly. Diet, by C. L. M. Charles L. Mitchell, M.D.
A letter of this kind needs no comment, and a product of this kind, in the judgment of the writer, can only be sent out for malicious purposes and its sale is illegal in North Dakota. We warn the public against* either handling the same or using the same, if they would avoid the formation of a serious drug habit and one that must result in positive injury to our people.

This product, put up in the form of a gum, would easily take the place—for one who had formed the habit for cocain— of tobacco; and it might be made to take the place of chewing gum with young people who would be entirely innocent of the intentional use of any such preparation, not knowing the evil effects that would come from its continued use.

In the judgment of the writer, no man who will allow his name to be connected with a scheme of this kind should bo permitted to digrace the profession of medicine by using the title M.D. (from The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) January 9, 1910.

That's a most ironic statement, given that Coca or even isolated cocaine (in properly buffered dilute form) would be an infinitely safer healthier substitute for Tobacco consumption.

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