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November 4, 1950


JAMA. 1950;144(10):849. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920100037013

The Journal has emphasized that a wholesome food "must make its expected contribution to human nutrition and must be clean and free from harmful bacteria or poisonous substances such as harmful chemical contaminants."1 Many subsequent developments attest to the importance of this latter requisite. The contamination of foods with undesirable chemicals may come about as a result of preparations added to the soil in which the food is produced, of the use of sprays for plants or animals, or by the addition of chemicals during the storage or processing of food. The toxic character for man of some of the chemicals used in agriculture is illustrated by the report2 in The Journal which states that a total of 198 cases of poisoning have been attributable to contact with organic phosphorus insecticides. Eight of these cases have been fatal. All but one of the fatal cases resulted from parathion,