"1935 The Pellagra Incident. After millions of individuals die from Pellagra over a span of two decades, the U.S. Public Health Service finally acts to stem the disease. The director of the agency admits it had known for at least 20 years that Pellagra is caused by a niacin deficiency but failed to act since most of the deaths occurred within poverty-stricken black populations."---A History Of US Secret Human Experimentation
Several commissions, appointed during the first quarter of this century to
investigate the cause of pellagra, concluded from their studies that pellagra
was an infectious, contagious disease. Harris
(1913) was able to inject Berkefeld filtered tissue material from pellagra victims into monkeys to cause a
corresponding disease in these animals. He concluded from these experiments that
a virus was present in the injected material and that it was the cause of
pellagra. If the work of Harris had been followed exclusively, various strains
of this "virus" might have been discovered and a vaccine, effective in
experimental animals, might have been developed, as in the case of
poliomyelitis. Today, as a result of unlimited research, however, we know
conclusively that pellagra is not caused by a virus but rather that it is a
vitamin deficiency disease. It is obvious that if the investigations of pellagra
had been restricted to the virus theory, it would still be a mystery.
....The general attitude of that period is expressed by Sachs (1911) in his statement: "In general, the epidemic occurrence of any disease is sufficient to prove its infectious or contagious character." The vitamin deficiency diseases, beriberi and pellagra, are outstanding examples of epidemic diseases that were formerly considered to be infectious and communicable according to the logic employed by Sachs. In fact, we find pellagra incorporated into the Public Health Law as a communicable disease in the State of Pennsylvania in the following rule and regulation adopted January 5, 1910: "That all physicians practicing within the limits of the state shall make immediate report of each and every case of uncinariasis duodenalis (hookworm disease) and pellagra and anterior poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis) occurring in their practice in the same manner that other communicable diseases are now by law and by rule and regulation of the State Department of Health reported to the health authorities. The Poison Cause of Poliomyelitis And Obstructions To Its Investigation by Ralph R. Scobey, M.D.