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August 18, 1975

Lead in Liverwurst

Author Affiliations

San Mateo, Calif

JAMA. 1975;233(7):767. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260070017003

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To the Editor.—  Hankin et al (231:484, 1975), in their discussion of lead in pet foods and processed organ meats, comment on the occurrence of lead in liverwurst and state, "It is likely that lead occurs sporadically in liverwurst." They analyzed seven samples of liverwurst and found significant concentrations of lead in each. Almost as an afterthought, in their last paragraph they mention analyzing 14 additional liverwurst samples and finding these 14 to be free of lead. On the basis of these data, they suggest that lead occurs "sporadically" in liverwurst.That "sporadically" occurring lead in liverwurst would show up in all of seven consecutive samples of a first run, and in none of 14 samples of a second analysis, suggests either a statistical miracle or faulty technique.