1902 The Lancet  
Institute, has just been struck down by an attack of hemiplegia. In the middle of a lecture he experienced a sensation of vertigo which gradually increased in severity. He sat down and, feeling himself getting worse little by little, wrote on a piece of paper the word hemiplegia. " He then lost consciousness and was taken to his home where he lay for many days in a very critical condition. At present, however, he seems to be on the high road to recovery. It is a curious coincidence that Pasteur
more » ... himself fell a victim to the same malady when he was in the midst of his work on the diseases of silkworms. The research was finished by his pupils. For many months Pasteur was ill, and for the remainder of his life he was partially paralysed on the right side and could only write with difficulty. However, he lived for 25 years longer, dying eventually from bronchopneumonia. Milk Adulteration in Paris. The daily press has just undertaken an active campaign against the custom of milk adulteration which has reached enormous proportions, and the various reporters of the different journals have brought to light some extraordinary facts which have created great excitement. Milk is adulterated everywhere-at the farm, by the wholesale agent who buys up milk from the different farms, then by the milkmen who take the cans from the railway-stations to the various retail dealers, and then by the retail dealers themselves in their shops. The most common method of adulteration is that of adding water, and, as the water comes from anywhere, say, from dirty streams or from ordinary public standpipes, it is not astonishing that milk has become the vehicle for the dispersion of a number of infectious diseases. During the night the reporters have seen milkmen stopping their vans at a public standpipe and drawing water from this and pouring it into the milk-can, while the vans carry various empty cans which can be filled , up with the milk which is thus increased in bulk. Seals of wax or of lead put on the cans at the point of departure are but an illusory protection, for the milkmen have made false ones copied from the real ones, which they put on. Better still, from their point of view, so as to escape the surveillance exercised by policemen who look after every milkvan which stops at night near a public standpipe, the milkmen have organised a sort of syndicate, and have confederates posted at the corners of dark streets or in gateways. These confederates, as the van drives through, throw in receptacles full of water prepared beforehand which is mixed with the milk while the van continues its journey. The Municipal Chemical Laboratory, which looks after the analyses of food products consumed in Paris, has started an organisation of its own to supervise these frauds. Every night various chemists betake themselves to the railwaystations at Paris, board the railway vans on the arrival of the trains, and seize a certain number of samples either directly from the train itself or from the milk-vans which have already been loaded up. These samples are taken to the laboratory and analysed and legal proceedings are at once taken against the senders of any milk which is adulterated ; but, as it is not possible for them to go to every station at once, the chemists and their assistants start every night from the Prefecture of Police and go to some particular station pointed out by the head of the laboratory. However, the syndicate of milkmen possesses a large number of accomplices who wait before the door of the Prefecture of Police, and as soon as the chemists start in their carriage, these agents rush off on bicycles to the station to be visited, and arriving before the chemists, warn the milkmen, so that the chemists find nothing but samples which are quite irreproachable. The authorities of the Municipal Laboratory are now going on another tack, and their chemists will start each evening at midnight from their own houses for a destination which has been pointed oui to them by telephone at the moment of starting. But, despite every precaution, the number of samples founc o be defective is enormous, and the reasons for this are nany. The chief of these is the very inadequate penalties nflicted by the courts. Out of 700 samples of milk leclared to be adulterated by the Municipal Laboratory the aw took no note of 500, and those persons who were found guilty were sentenced to altogether insignificant penalties, such as a paltry fine of some 10 francs. The milkmen are well organised, and when any of their number is fined a whip ound is made to pay the money. If after they have been fined several times they are sentenced to two or three days in prison the syndicate pays their wages during the time that they are in prison. When the prosecuted adulterator happens bo be a large commercial firm the sentence is worked out by a manager with an annual salary whose sole business it is to go to prison on behalf of the incriminated society. He has a certain sum of money allotted to him during his time in prison and leads a comfortable existence which many poor people envy. When adulterators are not found guilty by the court it is generally on account of political influences, for the milkmen take care, with a view to protection, to act as electoral agents. Finally, the courts take no notice of frauds which are not exceedingly serious, and when, as a rule, the amount of adulteration is not quite double that which is allowed by the law. I I Fraud" consists in the addition of water and in the existence of less than 38 grammes of fat to the litre ; but the court, as a rule, takes no notice of any deficiency of fat until there is less fat than 20 to 25 grammes a litre, so that when the Municipal Laboratory says that any milk contains a deficiency of fat between 38 and 25 grammes per litre, its work is quite useless. The estimation of salts which used to be employed is quite insufficient, for the adulterators used to add not water but skimmed milk, and the estimation of fat itself is in no way a real check, for the adulterators took to adding margarine to the milk so as to bring up the proportion of fat. One paper, the Echa de Paris, has organised a competition with a view of discovering a simple apparatus by which any member of the public can test the milk supplied to him, for at present the Municipal Laboratory takes no less than 24 hours to report on a given sample. This competition is open up to May 15th to any French or foreign inventor and the prize of 5000 francs will be allotted by a jury of chemists, hygienists, and eminent medical men. The committee is already appointed and the president is Professor Brouardel. Jan. 28th. _________________ BERLIN. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) The Accident to Professor Virchow. PROFESSOR VIRCHOW'S condition, which immediately after his accident was reported to be quite satisfactory, is apparently now not so good as might be desired. According to the Berliner Klinische Wochenschrift the subcutaneous hæmorrhage is nearly absorbed and callus nas begun to develop ;
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(01)80984-3 fatcat:me2mk3kewnecznibxmx3fm7k4m