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British Food Journal Volume 6 Issue 10 1904

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 October 1904



Month after month we bring forward additional evidence of the injury resulting from the use of chemical “preservatives” in food, while the Authorities feebly hesitate to give specific legal effect to the recommendations of the Departmental Committee which made such a complete inquiry into this question. The evidence upon which those recommendations were based has been fully corroborated by a number of different observers. FERE and others have shown that, as regards boric acid and borax, even when administered in the smallest medicinal doses, there is always the risk that these drugs may aggravate, or even produce, renal diseases. These observations have been confirmed by the work of Dr. CHARLES HARRINGTON, an account of which has been recently published. Twelve cats were fed on the same food; six were treated with borax, one had no preservative, and five were given a preservative which had no apparent effect. The experiment extended over a period of 133 days, the quantity of borax given averaging about 0.5 grms, per diem. Three of the borated cats soon became ill, and one died at the end of six weeks. On the termination of the experiment the cats were all killed, and upon examination it was found that the organs of the six cats which had not taken borax were in perfectly sound and healthy condition, while the others, with one exception, were all suffering from nephritis. Of course, instances are recorded in which patients have been treated with borax and boracic acid with apparently no injurious result, but as a general rule these experiments have been of too short duration to allow of the desired information being arrived at, and the results must therefore be regarded as inconclusive and unreliable. It is perfectly evident that the kidneys may be for a short time quite capable of eliminating many objectionable substances, but the long‐continued use of such bodies, as Dr. HARRINGTON'S researches clearly indicate, sets up an inflammatory condition of the kidneys which, of course, interferes with the effective performance of their proper functions, and lays the foundations for complications of the most serious nature.


(1904), "British Food Journal Volume 6 Issue 10 1904", British Food Journal, Vol. 6 No. 10, pp. 203-224.




Copyright © 1904, MCB UP Limited

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