JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
“The Chicago Health Department might well be engaged in better business than casting slurs, directly or indirectly, at the agitation for pure-food legislation.” Such is the opening paragraph of an editorial in the Chicago Record-Herald, January 30. It is called forth by a statement in the Weekly Bulletin of the Chicago Health Department. The Bulletin, commenting on food adulteration, says: “The steadily increasing healthfulness of Chicago—which is alleged to be the head center of the nefarious industry—does not warrant the recent sensational statement that ‘thousands’ of people, instead of being nourished by what they eat, are slowly done to death by it.” As the Record-Herald says, whatever exaggeration there may be in the statement quoted, certainly Chicago health statistics do not prove anything either for or against it. “Upward of 25,000 people die annually in Chicago alone, and certainly ‘thousands’ could die annually in the whole country from the indirect evil effects of impure food, without making any impression on the Chicago statistics which could be directly traced.”
CHICAGO HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND PURE-FOOD LEGISLATION.. JAMA. 2006;295(5):571. doi:10.1001/jama.295.5.571-a