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June 22, 1940

LABELING AND DEMOCRACY

JAMA. 1940;114(25):2489. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810250063021

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  The April 27 issue, page 1671, comments on the labeling of vitamin-containing alcoholic beverages. It is undoubtedly a bad thing that the public should be misled with regard to vitamins in beverages or foods. On account of the publicity that vitamins have received, the public undoubtedly has a general idea that anything that contains vitamins must therefore be desirable.I do not think, however, that one can defend a ruling which states that a label on a beverage or anything else should not contain truthful information concerning that material. It would certainly be proper to make a ruling forcing the manufacturer to put on the label the actual quantity of vitamins present, and it would be proper to prevent the appearance on the label of any misleading therapeutic claims.It appears to me that this is an example of the paternalistic tendency of government bureaus. It is

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