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May 11, 1935

Committee on Foods

JAMA. 1935;104(19):1708. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760190028011

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OWNEN'S ORIGINAL LAXATIVE HEALTH BREAD  The Becker Bread Company of East St. Louis, Ill., sells bread named "Ownen's Original Laxative Health Bread," which contains a substantial quantity of the purgative drug phenolphthalein. The label carries the statements:"Two slices a day keeps constipation away... baked by secret formula formulated by Edward Ownen, international food specialist... contains vegetables, fruits, soft wheat bran and pure honey... endorsed by mothers everywhere."

Misbranded and Adulterated.—  The appearance of the bread crumb indicates the presence of "vegetables, fruits and wheat bran," but neither the appearance nor flavor discloses to the unsuspecting consumer the undeclared drug ingredient phenolphthalein, a well known purgative. The presence of the drug is readily demonstrated by the addition of alkali solution to the crumb producing a brilliant red color. The bread is adulterated and misbranded under the General Food and Drug Law of the State of Illinois and, passing

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