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Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 49, Number 9 (June 1948)

Ross, Ward; Schoenfeld, Clay
W.A.R.F. report,   pp. 21-31


Page 29


  By the end of 1945 the Foundation's
laboratory had built up an outstanding
reputation for its impartiality, fairness,
and reliability. In it had probably been
conducted more biological assays for
vitamin D content of food and drug
products than in any other biological
laboratory in the world. Also, by that
time the laboratory was running tests
on many factors other than vitamin D
-other vitamins, minerals, a m i n o
acids, etc. As a result, when the Steen-
bock licensing program was discon-
tinued at the end of 1945 and royalties
ceased, the Foundation continued sup-
plying its laboratory services to former
licensees, but upon a reasonable fee
basis rather than without charge.
  From an arm of a patent-licensing
program the testing laboratory has be-
come a self-supporting institution. This
laboratory continued to grow and had
developed so greatly that the Founda-
tion found it necessary to erect a new
building to house its activities. The
Trustees believed that its reputation
was such that its operation was a real
service to the public and to business
and hoped that the large expenditure
for new facilities would be justified and
that the laboratory would continue to
be self-sustaining. The Fo u n d a t i o n
moved its laboratory into its new home
in January 1948 with expanded space
and facilities.
The Famous WARF Seal
  Some years prior to the expiration
of the main Steenbock patent in 1945,
the Foundation, realizing the prestige
being built up by its testing lab,
adopted a seal or "shield" suitable for
use upon the label of a food or drug
product and indicating approval of the
vitamin or mineral content of that
product by the Foundation upon the
basis of periodic tests.
  The Seal was adopted by a number of
taining food products. By the end of
1945 the Foundation's Seal, in respect
to vitamin D content, was being used
by several of the largest and best
known producers of evaporated milk.
Likewise, in respect to iodine content
(in connection with another patent
being administered by the Foundation)
the Seal was used upon the labels of
all iodized table salt produced by the
world's largest salt producer. The Seal
was and is effective in informing the
consumer of the laboratory services
carried on by the Foundation and be-
came of substantial value to the manu-
facturer in denoting independent out-
side testing of his product for various
nutritional factors.
  Upon the termination of the Foun-
dation's Steenbock patent licensing pro-
gram, arrangements were entered into
between the Foundation and concerns
using its Seal relating to vitamin D
content.- Under this new set-up the
Foundation   agreed to continue pe-
riodic testing and the manufacturers
agreed to pay the Foundation for this
service and for the use of the Founda-
tion's Seal.'
  The Foundation's Seal in its various
forms is now well established and is
producing reasonable r e v e n u e s for
scientific research at the University of
Wisconsin.
Concentrates Operation
  There are two ways in which certain
food products, such as fluid or evap-
orated milk, can be activated: (1) by
direct irradiation with ultra-violet rays
and (2) by the addition to or incor-
poration in that food of a vitamin D
concentrate, which itself may be pro-
duced by ultra-violet irradiation of a
concentrated provitamin substance.
  FICTION: The WARF rigidly
controlled the use of irradia-
tion in order to protect the
interests of a handful of
licensees.
  FACT: The WARF had over
400 licensees in all parts of the
world. The WARF indeed reg-
ulated the use of irradiation
but always in the interests of
the public at large. The WARF
served the public in three
ways: it prevented unscrupu-
lous commercialization of
Steenbock vitamin D, it stimu-
lated widespread use of anti-
rachitics, and it secured money
for further valuable research.
  FICTION: The WARF had a
monopoly on vitamin D.
  FACT: Vitamin D is the "sun-
shine" vitamin. It is formed in
the skin when directly exposed
to sunlight. It is found in fish-
liver oils. The Steenbock proc-
ess was merely one method of
-therefore could not be a mo-
nopoly on vitamin D.
   In the early and middle 1930s, direct
 irradiation, under Steenbock  patent
 licenses from the Foundation, was the
 preferred method of activation of both
 fluid and evaporated milks. Gradually,
 however, a change came about so that
 today no evaporated milk and only a
 small volume of fluid milk is directly
 treated with ultra-voilet. The almost
 universal method of producing vitamin
 D fluid and evaporated milks today is
 by the addition of a vitamin D con-
 centrate.
   Vitamin D is an oil-soluble vitamin
 and is almost always urepared in an
 oil carrier. Such oil products-with-
 out a proper carrier-will not readily
 mix with or disperse in milk or
 evaporated milk. Beginning in 1937
 the Foundation started making avail-
 able to the dairy industry its technical
 services in processing oil solutions of
 vitamin D into constituents of milk in
 the production of vitamin D concen-
 trates which were suitable and con-
-venient *for the fortification of fluid
milk. These concentrates were made
available as homogenized, canned, ster-
ilized products and offered many ad-'
vantages to the dairyman. In 1945 a
demand arose for similar products in
the evaporated milk field and the Foun-
dation, in view of its 10 years' expe-
rience in the processing of such con-
centrates for the fluid milk industry,
was called upon by the evaporated milk
industry to offer similar services. It
therefore expanded into this field.
  Today the Foundation, in a separate
new building located near its new lab-
oratory and office building, carries on
this highly specialized processing oper-
ation as a service to the dairy industry.
During 1947 over 300,000 cans of vi-
tamin D concentrates were processed
by the Foundation-sufficient to fortify
the equivalent of over 3 billion quarts
of bottled milk. The operation, an-
other normal outgrowth of the Steen-
bock' licensing program, produces, as
in the case of the Control Laboratory
and the Foundation's Seal, appreciable
revenue for further scientific research
at the University.
Other WARF Inventions
  Under the patent policy of the Uni-
versity of Wisconsin any faculty mem-
ber who makes an invention (except as
a result of work financed by the United
States Government) is free to make
such disposition as he wishes of such
invention. Usually such faculty mem-
ber, however, has neither the time nor
experience to handle the many busi-
ness and legal problems involved in
the commercial development of his in-
vention. The Foundation offers a dis-
tinct service to such an inventor in
taking over inventions, attempting to
obtain patent protection, and handling
the licensing of commercial firms to
develop the invention on a royalty
basis. The Foundation has had more
than 22 years' experience in this field
and is in a favorable position to handle
inventions assigned to it.
  While it is true that Dr. Steenbock's
inventions, during the lives of patents
issued on them, yielded financial re-
turns larger than returns produced by
any other invention handled by the
Foundation, nevertheless the Founda-
tion has during its 22 years of opera-
tion successfully administered a num-
ber of other important inventions. For
every invention which is commercially
successful there are, of course, many
which do not reach the commercial
stage and fail to produce any net rev-
enue whatever.
  To list and explain all the inventions
processed by the Foundation would
take many pages. Here are four typical
cases:
  1. Hart Copper-Iron Patent. In 1928
Prof. E. B. Hart of the biochemistry
department discovered in the course of
research work that in certain types of
secondary anemias conper along with
iron is essential for the building of
hemoglobin in the blood. Neither metal
alone does the job and no metal other
than copper can be used successfully
with iron in hemoglobin building. This
invention was assigned to the Founda-
tion, a patent applied for thereon, and
the patent issued September 13, 1932.
This patent was initially disregarded
on a wide scale by the pharmaceutical
industry, so litigation was brought on
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