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JAMA Revisited
February 27, 2018

Food Inspection and Food Control

Author Affiliations

February 23, 1918

JAMA. 1918;70(8):538- 539.

JAMA. 2018;319(8):835. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.12259

If it is true that public health is purchasable, it is also true that limited expenditures will not procure unlimited talent or unlimited results. The upshot of this indisputable statement is that community health work ought to assume a pragmatic attitude to the extent of undertaking foremost those procedures which pay well from the standpoint of good returns in lives saved and disease prevented. The evolution of modern public health activities has been gradual; it is still far from a complete or ideal stage. Progress in science has pointed year after year to the desirability of new measures in preventive medicine; but it has also often directed attention to the inefficacy of earlier procedures and given justification for their modification or abandonment. Nevertheless, the prestige of an established custom, whether it is in trade, in diet, or in practical hygiene, is not infrequently so firm that something more than scientific argument is needed to uproot or replace it.