Mr. Wamer to Mr. Uhl.
Cologne, February 9, 1895.
Sir: An order has just been issued by the police administration of Cologne, and published in the local papers, warning the public against eating sliced American dried apples. It says that large quantities of such apple slices, chiefly of American origin, are offered for sale here which contain a larger or smaller quantity of zinc. Of thirteen samples selected for investigation, eleven are said to have contained zinc. It asserts, further, that the presence of zinc is due to the fact that the apple slices from America are not dried, as is done here, on wooden racks, but on zinc netting. By this process, there is formed in the apples maltate of zinc, which has an analogous operation to that of lactate of zinc. According to experts, the eating of such an article may undoubtedly be injurious to health, especially to children and those who have weak constitutions. Continuing, the mayor of the city says:
I therefore feel obliged to give strict warning against the sale and the eating of American dried apple slices, and give notice to those offering such article for sale that they will be proceeded against in accordance with the Imperial law regulating the trade in food and food products.
There is a considerable trade in this market in American dried apples, and I am informed by an agent representing a large Chicago firm here that this order will frighten the public against eating such apples, and thereby injure, if not destroy altogether, this trade.
According to the statistics for the German Empire, there were imported into Germany from the United States, in 1893, 2,968 tons, and in 1894, 2,133 tons of dried fruit, which I understand to be dried apple slices.
I am, etc.,