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(Witnesses: Wiley, Zappone.)
A large number of imported sumac samples have been examined for the leather and paper laboratory to determine the extent and nature of adulteration. There was also examined a number of paper samples for the Post-Office Department and the Government Printing Office. In fact, the largest part of the work upon papers during the past year has been on samples submitted by the Post-Office Department, and that the work is recognized to be of importance is shown by the fact that the number of samples subinitted during this period has greatly increased over that of previous years. In connection with the work upon papers there have been carried on some investigations upon a method for the estimation of the percentages of pulp entering into papers. This involved the making up of a large number of composite pulps which were made the basis of the work. Altogether 248 examinations were made for this laboratory.
In connection with the work of the drug laboratory on fraudulent medicinal preparations for the Post-Office Department, 44 samples were examined to determine, by their structural nature, the kinds of material used, especially starches and powdered plant and glandular tissues.
I will call your attention to one thing on page 17 to show you the number of samples we examined in one of our laboratories for different Departments of the Government. For the War Department we examined 69 samples, for the Navy Department 19, for the Interior Department 65, for the Treasury Department 36, for the PostOffice Department 77, for the Department of Commerce and Labor 1, for the Government Printing Office 73, and that does not include two or three hundred examinations that were made for the Post-Office Department of objects which were supposed to be unfit to send in the mails and which they submit to us constantly for report. We usually have three or four on hand all the time. That indicates the collaboration that is going on and the work that we are doing for other Departments of the Government.
Mr. ZAPPONE. I notice there were samples examined for the Treasury Department and the Department of Commerce and Labor.
Doctor Wiley. Yes; we have an average of 100 samples a year from all these various Departments.
Mr. SAMUEL. Do those subjects perform any other work while they are under observation ?
Doctor Wiley. Yes; they have a method of life which they pursue and which they follow without variation.
Mr. SAMUEL. That you have to have in order to give value to your experiments ?
Doctor WILEY, Yes. They take a regular amount of exercise and they have a regular routine of life that they go through.
The CHAIRMAN. Your experiments are carefully controlled?
Mr. SAMUEL. Have you made an examination as to the amount of pure food required by each individual?
Doctor WILEY. We do that as a preliminary. To keep them in a normal condition we make a preliminary test. That is the first thing we do. It is very curious, Mr. Chairman, that we have found that a man eats every day 1 per cent of his weight in dry food. That has come out in all these experiments for the last five years. That is, if you take the water out of your food and count just the dry matter you eat, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will find that you eat 1,4 pounds of dry matter in your food every day. It requires just one hundred days to eat your head off.
The Chairman. Does that prove true of practically everybody?
Doctor WILEY. Yes; that is the average of sixty healthy young men.
The CHAIRMAN. Take a man that weighs 300 pounds, would that man eat 3 pounds of dry food a day!
Doctor WILEY. Probably the rule would not hold true in such an extraordinary case as that, but I mean that that is the rule for the ordinary man.
The CHAIRMAN. The ordinary man?
Doctor WILEY. Yes; if he eats less he will lose in weight, and if he eats more he ought to gain in weight. The weight of the food is about 44 pounds for liquids and solids every day.
The CHAIRMAN. That 1 per cent is about the maximum amount of food that a man can eat and properly digest and utilize in his system?
Doctor WILEY. That is under ordinary conditions, and not at hard labor. We do not have those conditions. That would require more. But for a man who is doing the ordinary labor of a Government clerk that is about the average.
The CHAIRMAN. If he ate in excess of that, that would involve the use of energy for the purpose of assimilating the extra food?
Doctor WILEY. Or excreting it.
Mr. SAMUEL. Did you ascertain what were the best kinds of foods for mental labor?
Doctor WILEY. We never have entered into any such investigations as that; but the general opinion as to that, that there are particular kinds of food that nourish particular parts of the body, in my opinion is quite erroneous.
The CHAIRMAN. There is no particular kind of nutrition?
Doctor WILEY. Yes; I see advertised nerve food and brain food. That is all nonsense.
Mr. SAMUEL. Do any of those drugs which are added to foods have a fattening effec
Doctor WILEY. It is well known that starches increase-
Doctor WILEY. No; none of them has a fattening effect. Most of them tend to have a degrading effect.
Mr. SAMUEL. Do any drugs have a fattening effect?
Doctor Wiley. Yes, it is well known that arsenic up to a certain point has a fattening effect—that is, a man gains in weight until he gets up to a certain limit, and then he dies. It is a poison.
Mr. SAMUEL. You did not make any experiments with alcohol?
Doctor WILEY. No, sir. I did not seek to go into alcohol experiments, because that is being worked out by another body in this country, called the Committee of Fifty, and they are doing very good work on that line, and I did not care to duplicate it.
Mr. SAMUEL. That is not under Government supervision?
Doctor Wiley. I do not think that any of them tend to produce any specific effect except as they may weaken an organ and render it susceptible. For instance, in the case of borax, 83 per cent of all the borax that my boys até came out through the kidneys. And you put that burden on the kidneys for months and years and the first thing you know you will have either diabetes or Bright's disease as the result of the breaking down of the resisting power of the kidneys under this extra work, and in that way you might say that these preservatives will tend to produce a certain disease. In the case of benzoate of soda, a lot of it is converted into hippuric acid, which is a severe poison, and if it is not excreted through the urine it has a tendency to produce uremic poisoning.
The CHAIRMAN. For every exciting cause you find a predisposition to that result?
Doctor WILEY. Yes. A man may drink a glass of typhoid germs if he is in vigorous health and may not get typhoid fever, because his system will thrown off the poison. But if he is broken down and in weakened condition, one of these germs will get hold of his intestines and produce ulceration, and he will have typhoid fever. And the same way you take pneumonia germs. Not a man in this room but has a pneumonia germ in his mouth, according to General Sternberg, and they do not affect the healthy lung; but you get a cold and one of those germs will take its seat in your lungs and you will have inflammation of the lungs.
The CHAIRMAN. Pneumonia is a germ disease?
Doctor Wiley. As to saltpeter, we have not made any investigation as to that, but it is known to have a diuretic effect on the kidneys under certain conditions. There is no doubt that it may very essentially aid in the operations of the kidneys.
There is one thing in regard to the results of all our work, and that is that we believe in them unless somebody can show a fault in them; and I am more than anxious to know if there is any fault, so much so that I have repeated a certain series of experiments because one gentleman in whom I have great confidence at a symposium at New York where we both spoke stated that I had certainly made a mistake as to the sulphurous acid producing a diminution in the red blood corpuscles; so that I went to work and conducted a new series of experiments, which when completed entirely corroborated my former statements, which absolutely showed the depletion of these red blood corpuscles, so that I now feel secure in the position that I formerly occupied.
M:. SAMUEL. You do not investigate the effect of drugs other than those used in adulteration of foods?
Doctor Wiley. No; we have no authority of Congress to do that. It would be a very desirable thing to do, but we are not transgressing the authority which Congress has conferred upon us. But we do, under the authority of Congress, investigate the adulteration of drugs.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the fact, Doctor, about mastication of different kinds of food with reference to digestion ?
Doctor WILEY. The better you masticate a starchy food the more readily the starch is digested, because a large part of the digestion takes part in the mouth, converting the starch into sugar, and the starch carries an enzyme which converts starch into sugar. I have often made experiments with saliva. Boil a little starch with water so as to make a paste, and when cool (blood heat) you can convert the whole of it into sugar inside of thirty seconds with good saliva; it is almost instantaneous.
Now, with the starch in food, the operation is of course much slower, but the digestion begins in the mouth, and as you are chewing your food you are digesting it, and the more you chew it the more rapidly digestion takes place; so that I think it is a wise percaution to chew your food.
In regard to meats it is entirely different. You can chew meat all day and it does not digest any more than if you swallowed it immediately. It does not begin to digest until it gets into the stomach and meets the pepsin.
The CHAIRMAN. And the saliva produced by this chewing does not go into the stomach for the purpose of producing any useful result?
Doctor WILEY. Oh, yes; the saliva is useful all through the process of digestion so long as there is any starch there. These enzymes go into the stomach and continue the process of digestion inside of the stomach. But the process of digestion carried on inside of the stomach is a different process. The juices in the stomach are an acid medium, and the stomach digests the protein, and the starch which has been held in the stomach after it passes through the small intestines becomes alkaline again, and then these enzymes go to work and finish up the starch.
Mr. SAMUEL. What do you consider the best food for a man to eat?
Doctor Wiley. I think a man ought to choose his own ration. Lots of people are vegetarians, and they are good, wholesome people. I think we eat too much meat, myself, for health. I have voluntarily cut my meat down to one meal a day, and I do not eat very much at that. I think that for the sustenance of physical exertion, if you have hard work to do. there is nothing better than starch and sugar, and the records of physical exertion bear me out in that. The cerealeating nations can endure more physical toil than the meat-eating nations. That is not the accepted view, but it is true. You can not tire out a Jap who eats rice. They will take a jinrikisha and draw you all day around the town on a pound of rice and be as fresh at the close of the day as when they started, and you could not do that on a pound of meat to save your life. There is much more energy for exertion in starch than in meat. But, of course, by a diet containing too much starch in proportion you starve the muscles and other protein parts of your body, and the ration which a man naturally chooses is, to my mind, one part of protein to six and a half parts of starch and 'fat. That is what we want; that is the normal ration, and that, I believe, is the best ration for man. You get your protein in the wheat and beans and peas and meat, you get your fat in butter and fat meat, and you get your carbohydrates in starch and sugar and lean meat and butter.
Mr. SAMUEL. Does too much of any of these elements tend to produce disease?
Doctor WILEY. I do not think it tends to produce disease, except when long continued, but I heard the chief surgeon of the Japanese navy last winter deliver a lecture on the eradication of the beriberi from the Japanese navy. They tried everything, and finally this surgeon thought that it might be because they ate so much starch. Rice was their principal food. So he changed the ration and gave them more meat and more fish, put more protein into the ration, and the beriberi absolutely disappeared within a very short time. So that there was an instance where starch actually produced beriberi, which is a very fatal disease.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the nature of that disease?
Doctor Wiley. It is a disease of the intestinal organs, like cholera. I never saw a case. He merely stated the symptoms and told how he eradicated it, and he said that throughout the whole course of the war with Russia he did not think that they had a single case of beriberi on a Japanese ship. So that there is a danger in unbalancing the ration. You must have a certain amount of protein and a certain amount of starch and a certain amount of fat. You can get your protein out of beans and peas and gluten of wheat as well as out of meat. But you only get one item of the food in meat-that is protein—while in wheat you get everything that you need, mineral and all.
The CHAIRMAN. Was your Bureau able to answer the demands made upon it in connection with the examination of soils prior to the separation of the Bureau of Soils from your department?
Doctor Wiley. Prior to the organization of the Bureau of Soils we never had, as I said this morning in speaking of another subject, made any examinations of soils excepting as it came along in the ordinary work, except in that one instance where Congress made this appropriation for a special investigation of soils, and especially in regard to nitrifying organisms. We had met all the demands up to that time, but there had been no special study of soils in the department up to that time.
Mr. CHAIRMAN: Has your Bureau ever examined the coal used by other branches of the United States Government in Washington ? If so, please state for what branches, giving the approximate cost to your Bureau for doing the work.
Doctor WILEY. Yes, sir; for several years we have examined the coals used by one branch of the service of the Interior Department, viz, the St. Elizabeth Hospital for the Insane. This work has been done practically at no cost, since we have all the apparatus necessary for the work and trained men, who simply give the time required for the analysis. I suppose $100 would cover all the expense to us for the examinations we have made for the St. Elizabeth Hospital. We burn the coal in the calorimeter to determine its heating power, and examine it for its content of sulphur, phosphorus, moisture, and ash.
Mr. CHAIRMAN: Would it be feasible for your Bureau to continue the examination of coal for other branches of the United States Government in Washington without increasing the personnel or impairing the efficiency of your Bureau !
Doctor WILEY. We could continue to make examinations of the analytical character mentioned above for the various Departments