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July 4, 1936

Current Comment

JAMA. 1936;107(1):42. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770270044017

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DOCTORS AND DIAPLEX  In a recent trial the federal government was defeated in its attempt to prove one Horace Wayne Pierce, manufacturer and shipper of a herb tea called "Diaplex," guilty of fraud under the criminal clause of the Food and Drugs Act. Diaplex, the dried leaves and stems of Atriplex canascens (salt bush), is offered as a specific for diabetes. The advertising exaggerates the dangers of insulin and dwells on the simplicity of taking Diaplex. The government lost its case principally because of the premature enthusiasm of a physician for the nostrum. As told in a brief summary of the case issued by the United States Department of Agriculture, the government contended that the falsity of the claims made for Diaplex as a remedy for treating diabetes was fully proved. The breakdown in the government testimony came when two witnesses—one a doctor and the other a layman—admitted the writing

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