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Senator COPELAND. Was that my bill?
Miss Wall. The gist of it was this, that that company retained a lawyer to run down these cases of argyria. The doctors are still saying that silver hair dye causes argyria, and this man, a trained lawyer, searched all the literature. Briefly, the whole statement is here; it was all traceable to one case. He wrote to every writer who mentioned this subject, and one passed the buck to another until finally it got back to one case which happened in Italy in 1899.
Senator COPELAND. This bill provides distinctly that the Secretary shall also cause to be disseminated such information regarding foods, drugs, or cosmetics as may be necessary to protect against dangers to public health or fraud upon the consumer, provided that no such information shall be so disseminated regarding any brand of food, drug, or cosmetic before rendition of final judgment in proceedings against it except in cases involving imminent danger to health or gross deception of the consumer.
Miss WALL. Yes; I am approving it, because I did not like it before, but I think it is all right now.
The association of this propaganda, with the activity of Consumers' Research was in my opinion particularly pernicious. You asked me before about that. I have in my statement that I think the Consumers' Research is a pernicious influence. Under the guise of protecting the public, this organization wages a continuous campaign of destruction. The concept under which it was organized may have been idealistic, but nothing can be idealistic now which is continually destructive.
Senator HEBERT. In what way is that so?
Senator HEBERT. Well, it was destructive of the time of the committee, if that is what you mean.
Miss WALL. I feel very strongly on the point. I wouldn't want all I feel to go in the record. I shall read what I have here, and, if you want to ask me any questions, I will gladly extend it. I dislike to give it any more free publicity. I refer to the book called One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs. That was obviously the inspiration for the chamber of horrors. I don't care to go into all the details here, but I should like to have the opportunity to publish a book or an article called, say, Guinea Pigs Have Sharp Teeth, and I would like to have the privilege of tearing some of its sophistry to shreds and clearing up some of its nondebatable errors.
This organization claims to represent consumers, yet I have heard a distinguished representative of the famous Mrs. Consumer express herself to a representative of Consumers' Research and declare its very name a misnomer because they do research on everything but the consumer. Most of the research that is done is secondhand. That is, it is compiled from publications, official reports, and anything obtainable that can be rewritten. We have had much evidence of that during 2 hours this afternoon, too. It is written · and published in their bulletins. That book came out just a year ago in February, and is what Consumers' Research thought of the Department of Agriculture at that time.
Senator COPELAND. You refer to One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs?
Miss WALL. Yes, Doctor. I don't know, but the question has been asked since it is known that I am so interested in this. If that is what those people felt about the Department of Agriculture, how have they all become such buddies! It is the mystery of the age to some people. But for the opinion of at least one person in the Department I would like to suggest as an antidote that you all read The Joy of Ignorance, by one of the writers in the Department, because he wrote that before One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs came out.
Senator COPELAND. You mean by they
Miss WALL. The Department of Agriculture. It is by T. Swann Harding and came out just about a year before One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs, and in that he told what he thought about Consumers' Research.
Senator COPELAND. That is, this man told what he thought about Consumers' Research?
Miss WALL. Yes.
The question was asked, how do they get their subscribers. I don't know, but after the last hearing I received a blank to fill out, so that I could receive their confidential bulletins.
Senator COPELAND. You mean a subscription blank?
Miss WALL. This letter came to me, addressed to me out of the air. They got my name off some list evidently. I should say more about that, but it is late.
Senator COPELAND. We have plenty of time.
Miss WALL. I don't mind telling you, since the question came up, where the information comes from. There is one word in the vernacular that one must use. Most of it is bummed. They get it from the A.M.A. bulletins, from the Government bulletins, from anybody. I have had people inquire of me where my books are to be found, so that they can take the information out of them. I don't know whether that means that the first thing you know I am going to be impaled on something, but I would know if I subscribed. Here is what mystifies me, and I believe I don't want the answer to this, but I ought to know what the connection is. What I wonder in my mind is what is the connection between the Department of Agriculture, and that book which has been recommended for reading by the women's clubs, wherever the Department of Agriculture publicity has been passed on.
I feel that stampeding the women's clubs is one of the pet sports of propagandists.
I said at the outset that I know cosmetics from factory to face. By that I mean I have worked with manufacturers and I have also worked with the agencies and other people who are working in them. I have sold them in a store to get experience. But ultimately I am a consumer. I am also a member of clubs and I have seen this propaganda functioning. I listened the other day when all those letters were read. I have talked often to women's clubs--all kinds, professional, and the so-called “uplift clubs.” I find they know nothing whatever about cosmetics, and it is dreadful to me to realize that most of what they know they are getting from that book.
Senator COPELAND. What book was that?
Miss WALL. One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs. Each time I mention the name I give it publicity.
The president of a club up State heard that I had objected to Senate 1944–she is a very good friend of mine-she wrote me:
Would you please tell me in words of one syllable why you object to this? You are the first person I have heard of and the only person that I know that objected to it. Give us your statement. I received an order to have my club endorse it, and also to have my club read One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs. The women's clubs have a great interest—any woman has.
From the definition of a cosmetic that I read you at the beginning, you know that there is hardly anybody, man or woman, that does not use cosmetics. They all have these things tucked away. They want to know what they are, and anytime that I have an opportunity to speak there is always someone to ask me about this.
Senator COPELAND. I am not quite clear. What is the relationship between the Consumers' Research and the One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs?
Miss WALL. Kallet and Schlink wrote it.
Miss WALL. They are the authors of it. The harm that has been done is widespread, and the admitted ignorance
Senator COPELAND. What harm?
Miss WALL. The harm that has been done by the propaganda out of the Department of Agriculture in stampeding the women's clubs and others into the endorsement of this bill.
Senator COPELAND. Did the Department of Agriculture have anything to do with this book that you have been talking about?
Miss WALL. Well, I don't know. I don't know how official it is, but, as I say, when recommendations have gone out for clubs to endorse the bill—I am talking of Senate 1941—along with it went the recommendation that one should read this book.
Senator COPELAND. Your idea is that there is sort of a mystery there about it that ought to be examined into in some way?
Miss WALL. No; I do not submit it as a problem. I was asked to send a statement to the Massachusetts State Federation of Women's Clubs, and I sent it. But I know you don't like post-mortem discussions, and by the time all those publications came out, of course Senate 1944 was practically dead and buried. The publication came out on the day you introduced Senate bill 2000.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you one question, please. Did the Department of Agriculture recommend the reading of this One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs to the women's clubs?
Miss Wall. No; I don't know that, Senator, but I say I haven't
WALL inquired. I don't know.
The CHAIRMAN. I though that ought to be made clear. The intimation was that it did.
Miss WALL. Then I said I don't know. I don't know just what the connection is, but in the propaganda that went out, the Department of Agriculture planted speakers in as many places as possible to address clubs, organizations of every possible kind, and I was on the trail as close as possible, but I never quite caught up with the Department's representatives. In two cases I said if you have had a request to put a speaker from the Department of Agriculture on the program, will you please see that I am there at the same time? Well, the answer, as I say, in two cases was, “ It is too bad, but we had him last week.” I can't go chasing around so I came down here and spoke at the hearing in December.
Senator HEBERT. Do you happen to know who the founders of the Consumers' Research League are?
Miss WALL. As I understand it, it was founded after 1927, after Stuart Chase and Dr. F. J. Schlink proposed a book called, Your Money's Worth.” I remember that near the end of that book there is some reference to the greatest need for a bureau where all these wonderful things could be done, where the consumers are protected and everything is exposed; because consumers are "nitwits” who can't think, so that there must be somebody to think for them.
I don't know what year it was founded. Mr. Kallet would know that, but that book was published in 1927, and this came out of it afterward, and Mr. Stuart Chase was one of the authors of that book.
Senator HEBERT. Do you know whether anybody in the Department of Agriculture was one of the founders ?
Miss WALL. No; I don't know that, and since Mr. Kallet unfortunately does not remember the names of the other members of the board, that is an omission that we must accept.
In the propaganda that was disseminated by the Department of Agriculture, there was almost abandon in the manner in which they admitted that they know everything about foods but nothing about cosmetics. It would have been amusing, but it made me very indignant, because I thought it was a shame that these matters even
I for discussion were turned over to men who admittedly knew nothing whatever about them. They couldn't even answer questions when they were asked. All these fearsome provisions about cosmetics look backward and take no cognizance of actual conditions in the industry.
Please permit me to read just a few paragraphs about an exposition that was held last fall. This is the advance notice. It was the exposition of Women's Art and Industries held at the Hotel Astor in September. The idea of the committee was to cooperate in every way with the dissemination of information for the revision of this Pure Food and Drugs Act. This was the advance announcement:
The object of the Department's exhibits will be to emphasize to the women of New York the necessity for safety in cosmetics. According to Dr. Wynne, the exhibit of the drug-control division will endeavor to expose those article which are harmful and irritating. the sale of which is prohibited by the Department of Health, and to expose fraudulent advertising of cosmetics.
That was published on September 20. The show opened on the twenty-fifth. This is the way it was written up afterward. I read you just two paragraphs.
It had been the original intention of the department, which for years has carried on a campaign for pure cosmetics, to present in this display samples of both good and bad ingredients with the obvious implication that the “bad ones were frequently used in the manufacture of toilet preparations, while the “good” ones were reserved for a limited number of high class products sold at high prices.
Doubtless it would have been difficult to explain to the good doctors on Dr. Wynne's staff, that the cost of the ingredients themselves were but a relatively small part of the cost of producing a finished preparation, and that no one with an ounce of sense would jeopardize his product and its sale by using raw materials of poor quality.
However, something happened to convince them of this fact, much better than hours of oratory or reams of briefs could have done. When they went out to find the “ bad” ingredients, they discovered that these things just did not exist in the market.
Accordingly the display had to be limited to ingredients without the characterization of " good” or “ bad” to. confuse the visitors. The result, SO far as we could see, was excellent. Women stopped at the booth and looked over the array of products. They asked questions and went away visibly impressed with the fact that cosmetics could not be very harmful when made from such excellent materials.
The Department of Agriculture had information at hand, and they could have found it, to let them know what was actually going on in the industry, but instead of that, they went to persons admittedly outside of it, and many of them admitted enemies and took the information from them. The idea seems to be, you are working for it, and we couldn't take anything you say as the truth. One rather resents that. That was a cross section of actual conditions. It didn't seem to register with the Department.
New York City has very sensible regulations about which no reasonable objection can be made.
There was a question this morning about what was to be done with prohibited substances and so on. I don't know whether you are familiar with the provisions of our sanitary code, but all the prohibited substances are accounted for, particularly the metallic compounds against which one must be very carefuly against taking them internally, and there are warning labels on those that those must be used according to directions. Then we also have idiosyncratic substances, where a person that is known to be sensitive will protect himself or herself from those.
Senator COPELAND. How recently was that revision made?
Miss WALL. 1930 and 1931. Section 128 of the sanitary code had been revised in 1926. That was when they slipped in paraphenylene diamine, and when Dr. Wynne started to investigate it he found that it was not being enforced. When he asked why, he found out that it was not enforceable. His idea was to revise that section of the code to have a workable enforceable regulation, and it seems to be that the only responsibility in police work is to determine whether or not the substance is labeled as required. No policeman or officer should have to make chemical tests to prove whether a thing conforms with the law. That is what I would like to see here, as little police work as possible, and as little technical knowledge on the part of enforcement officers. Put the burden on the manu