No. 17.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 196.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy and translation of an extract from the “Independence Beige” of this evening, giving, from its agricultural correspondent in Paris, a letter, in which he briefly shows the much greater danger of trichinosis from German pork than from any other. He also mentions the discovery of a new parasite in German pork by Professor Bollinger, of Munich, which Professor Bonfik, of Breslau, declares to have the most deleterious and even fatal effects on mankind.

Coming as this does from an impartial source, the extract from the “Independence” is another evidence of the injustice of the crusade against American pork. It furnishes reasonable grounds for the adoption of a retaliatory action on our part in order to protect ourselves as well as our pork.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 196.—Translation.—Extract from the “Independence Beige,” March 31, 1884.]

Agricultural correspondent of the “Independence Beige” Paris, March 30.

Our pork producers, or rather those who represent them in Parliament and who think that their votes maybe useful in the next election, make a great fuss about trichina). But the singular thing is that they persist in searching for them in the American pork, and if necessary discover them, notwithstanding the reports of the scientists, which should be accepted as final on this point. These learned men may vainly demonstrate that the care taken in raising the American hog, that his food, consisting principally of Indian corn, a plant which has not the reputation of sheltering the trichinae in its tissues, lender the American bog at least as healthy as the French hog. But these obstinate people will not give up, and it is thus that they have succeeded in springing upon the Chamber of Deputies a resolution asking the Government to suspend the entry of American pork into France.

At the same time, on the other hand, they leave the doors wide open to the German pork. Why? He would be very sharp who could explain this anomaly, unless there is therein another evil effect of the baneful treaty of Frankfort.

The fact remains, however, that if there be a dangerous hog in the world capable of disturbing the security which our culinary custom of thoroughly cooking our meat gives us, that hog would be the German. It is he who, by rooting amongst the filth in the villages in certain German provinces, has become the vehicle of the trichinae which he swallows, in devouring rats, moles, and other dead animals which he finds in his vagabond wanderings.

Now, do you know how much pork Germany sent us in 1883, either more or less, well salted I Eleven thousand three hundred and eight quintals. And the United States, which are here made to play the rôle of scape-goat, 524 quintals altogether.

But here is something different—a new meat parasite in the German pork. It is a small, striped mushroom (Aktinomyces), which has recently been signaled to the Medical Society of Berlin. The discovery appears to be due to Professor Bollinger, of Munich, who has also established the ravages which it creates in animals. Then Professor Bonfik, of Breslau, proved that this parasite is easily transmitted to man, to [Page 22] whom he gives a contagious disease generally mortal in its effects. The report in which the latter establishes this fact was presented by him to the illustrious Birchow on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his professorship. This was certainly a really scientific gift, but none the less a singular one.

It appears, according to Professor Bonfik, that this mushroom has the most dangerous, deleterious effect on the human system, producing suppurations and secondary affections of the heart and other important organs.