Mr. Ozmun to Mr. Day.

Sir: I beg to call the attention of the Department to the inclosed notice in the Stuttgart Neues Tagblatt of December 24, 1897, a translation of which I transmit herewith, relating to the prohibition of the sale and the seizure and confiscation of American dried fruits on the alleged ground that such fruit contains metallic zinc in such quantities as to render the same unfit and unhealthful for human food. I have not interviewed the city chemist, who is said to have made the test, and I have as yet had no tests made. I have heard of no deaths or illness occasioned by the eating of such fruit, and it will be observed that the notice contains no statement that there has been complaint on that ground, or, in fact, any other ground.

I am, etc.,

Edward H. Ozmun, Consul.
[Inclosure—Translation.]

Notice regarding the sale of dried fruit (steam-dried apple slices).

Referring to the public warning regarding the sale of dried fruit containing zinc-published April 17 last, notice is hereby again given to those dealing in the above, mentioned article that repeated examinations of dried-apple slices, especially of American origin, by the chemical bureau of this city, have established the fact that samples taken from various retail stores of this city contained, almost without any exception, an addition of metallic zinc in quantities of 0.3 gram to the kilogram (2.2046 pounds). Among 41 samples examined there were 12 (or 29 per cent) containing zinc. The zinc contents appear to come from the fruit slices being dried on zinc-wire netting. According to the opinion of the first city physician and other medical authorities, as well as the laws for articles of nourishment, any such articles [Page 317]containing zinc are to be condemned as detrimental to health. In consequence hereof, all dealers in dried fruits are hereby warned that proceedings for punishment and confiscation will be instituted if further investigations of dried fruits should show contents of zinc.

Wurster, Chief of Police.