The consumer's guarantee of sterility in products labeled "sterile" lies chiefly with the producer. In the case of "sterile" market cotton,1 the control program of the Food and Drug Administration, in the Los Angeles area at least, consists of taking random samples at periodic intervals. These are sent to the Federal Drug Administration in Washington, D. C., for sterility testing. Results of these investigations are not available. In view of this, it was decided to make a survey of "sterile" market cotton to determine whether the present control program is adequate to insure sterility in all packages of cotton.
Samples of "sterile" market cotton were purchased from retail stores in various parts of the city of Los Angeles. Generally a single 4-oz. roll of a nationally prominent brand was purchased from each retailer. At the time of purchase, no mention was made of the survey being
Silliker JH, Hess EP. STERILITY OF MARKET COTTON. JAMA. 1952;149(15):1374–1376. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930320014005
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