Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wiley Cocaine Policy

Wiley's unilateral declaration that the cocaine alkaloid was "deleterious to health" as basis for a charge of food "adulteration"

From Nostrums and quackery: articles on the nostrum evil and quackery by the American Medical Association

Koca Nola

This was a syrup for flavoring soda water and similar "soft drinks" put up by a company of the same name at Atlanta, Ga. This "Delicious Dopeless Koca Nola"—as the label had it —was found to contain cocain. Cocain being deleterious to health, was declared an adulteration under the act so that the Koca Nola Company was found guilty on two points: (1) failing to declare the presence of cocain and (2) adulteration. The Government made two seizures and the company was found guilty in each case and a fine of $25 on each count was imposed, making the total $100.—[Notice of Judgment, No. 202.]

Celery Cola

Celery-Cola, marketed by the Birmingham Celery Cola Company of Birmingham, Ala., was another soft drink found to contain cocain and calTein. The government contended that as cocain was a poisonous and deleterious ingredient, the product was adulterated and as the proportion or quantity of cocain was not declared on the label it was also misbranded.— [Notice of Judgment, No. 326.]

Dr. Don's Kola

This product, which was sold as a flavoring extract for "soft drinks," was shipped by the Warner-Jcnkinson Company of St. Louis from Missouri to Michigan. When analyzed by the Government chemists, the product was found to be a syrupy liquid consisting essentially of cocain, caffein, phosphoric acid, sugar, flavoring and coloring agents, and water. It contained no substance derived from the cola nut or cola plant. In view of the fact that it contained cocain, a dangerous drug, the stuff was declared adulterated and, inasmuch as it contained no product of the cola nut. it was further declared misbranded. The defendant entered a plea of guilty and a fine was imposed.—[Notice of Judgment, No. 724.]

Kos-Kola was a soft drink shipped in interstate commerce by the Sethness Company of Chicago. A sample of this preparation was analyzed by the Bureau of Chemistry whose chemists reported that it contained a "poisonous and deleterious ingredient, to wit, cocain." As the preparation failed to bear a statement on the label of the quantity or proportion of cocain, and. as the name Kos-Kola indicated that a product of the cola nut was one of its chief ingredients, which it was not, this vicious mixture was declared misbranded and adulterated. A plea of guilty was entered and the defendant fined. — [Notice of Judgment, No. 206.]

This was a soft drink preparation made by the Vani-Kola Company of Canton. Ohio. Analysis disclosed the presence of coeain and caffein and the product was therefore deemed adulterated ill that it contained deleterious ingredients. It was also declared misbranded because the quantity, or proportion of coeain was not given on the label. The company was fined $25 and costs after entering a plea of nolo contendere. [Notice of Judgment, No. 935.]


This soft drink, shipped by the Lehman-Rosenfeld Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, was analyzed by the Government chemists, on whose findings it was declared adulterated and misbranded. It was found to contain cocain and caffein, which rendered the drink injurious to health. Furthermore, the label failed to bear a statement of the quantity or proportion of cocain and caffein, A plea of guilty was entered and fine imposed.— [Notice of Judgment, No. 466.]

Dr. Elders' Celebrated Tobacco Specific

H. W. Elders of St. Joseph, Mo., shipped into the state of Michigan a quantity of a drug preparation having the name given above and under claims that were in part as follows:

"Cures Smoking. Chewing. Cigarette and Snuff Kipping Habits in three to five days."

"It Is as Certain in its Cure as are Taxes and Death sure to all."

"Oldest, Cheapest, Best. Thousands so testify."

"A positive cure for the 'Tobacco Heart'."

"Contains no injurious drugs or ingredients."

Analysis by the government chemists showed that the tablets consisted essentially of cocain and cocain derivatives, strychnin and cinchona alkaloids. The co cain, strychnin and cinchona alkaloids amounted to about 3/10 of 1 per cent. The remainder of the tablets consisted of sugar and starch with a small amount of gin ger, the whole being flavored with artificial oil of wintergreen. As the tablets were not a specific for the tobacco habit and as it did contain "injurious drugs or ingredients." the product was declared misbranded. Elders pleaded euilty and was fined .*100 and costs. [Notice of Judgment, No. 930.]

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