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August 1, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(5):336-337. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730050044025

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Poisoning by Contaminated Wheat  Some interest has been aroused by the freely reported cases of wheat poisoning that have been published in the lay press. Four patients have been admitted to the hospital, and one of them died. The department of public health and the university authorities have undertaken an investigation but so far nothing has been published. The four patients are European adults, resident on a farm in the Clanwilliam district in the Cape Province, a district that has long been renowned for its wheat and its oranges. The Clanwilliam district was a happy hunting ground for the botanists Drege, Zonder and Schlechter, who discovered many new species here. There are thousands of varieties of flowering plants on these farms. Among many of the local plants which have a reputation for toxicity are the curious fleshy mesembryanthemums, with one or two leaves, which contain exceedingly powerful narcotic poisonous principles,

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