Mr. Robertson to Mr. Uhl.

Sir: At the request of that gentleman, I have the honor to herewith transmit a report, containing one inclosure, from the United States consular agent at Flensburg, on the subject of “American apple rings.” [Page 309]It will be noticed that in my report of the 29th instant I had already called the attention of the Government to the dangers besetting our export trade in dried and evaporated apples in Germany, and to the necessity on the part of our exporters of observing every caution in the curing of fruit and other food products for this market to prevent their adulteration.

I am not at all convinced that the fault lies entirely with our people, but believe that for various reasons any possible unhealthiness in the fruit arriving has been misrepresented and exaggerated.

I am, etc.,

W. Henry Robertson, Consul.

In my reports of last year to the Department of Agriculture I had occasion to bring to notice the attacks made in German papers against American products, and how necessary it is to prevent this for the benefit of the American trade.

I mentioned then only American seeds—clover, timothy, etc.—which are supposed to have been adulterated and worthless, but now I name an American export article—apple rings. Warnings, as the inclosed show, can be read from time to time in German papers, and, in consequence, these goods are purchased here very little.

I do not really know if the adulteration with salt of tin is made in America, or if these warnings only come from German manufacturers. Should the first be the case, it is high time to prevent such manipulation; otherwise, the trade with Germany will be spoiled entirely.

The market for dried fruits, especially apples and peaches, in Germany, is, very important. Should the statement in the articles be untrue, the American manufacturers should contradict them.

A retail merchant here told me that he sold, in the year 1889, 27 hundredweight of American apple rings, and last year only 2 hundredweight, and these he bought with a German certificate stating that the fruit was free of salt of tin. The same man told me that lately the German Government had actually examined the common American (yellow) sun-dried apples, and found them adulterated.

A friend of mine wrote to the German Reichs-Gesundheits Amt Berlin, and received the inclosed answer.

Hnr. Beneke, Consular Agent.


In answer to your inquiry regarding apple rings (dried pippins), I may say the prime minister sent a circular, dated April 16, 1894, to the allied states, and it is printed by the board of health in their annual for 1894, which is to be had of Mr. Julius Springer, Berlin, N. Menbijon Platz 3.

warning against the consumption of american sliced apples (apple rings).

[Translation from the publications of the Imperial Sanitary Department for 1894.]

Frequent analyses which have been recently made show that American apple rings contain a considerable quantity of zinc, which has been pronounced by medical experts as injurious to health. It is, perhaps, intentional on the part of Americans to add zinc to them in order to give them a finer white color by drying them on tin plates, or by saturating them with a diluted solution of hydrochlorate of tin. As announced by the public chemical laboratory of Dr. B. Alexander-Katz, the legal chemist, the examinations have not been completed which were authorized by the Imperial Government to be held at different places during the summer of 1894. Should it be proved sufficiently by these that the greater part of American apple rings contain demonstrable and often considerable quantities of zinc, the German manufacturers will at least be relieved of their dangerous American competition. The German wholesale merchants who deal chiefly in American apples seek to protect themselves by certificates of American chemists. It is to be hoped that in the future they will be required not to sell American apple rings which have not received a certificate of the absence of zinc from a German chemist.