[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 21, 1977

Lead, Health Food, and Leukemia

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of Experimental Metabolic Diseases Veterans Administration Hospital Long Beach, Calif

JAMA. 1977;238(21):2262. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280220030004

To the Editor.—  Three items normally not connected with each other in our minds, namely, lead, health food, and leukemia, were treated jointly in the elegantly written article by William H. Crosby, MD, entitled "Lead-Contaminated Health Food: Association with Lead Poisoning and Leukemia" (237: 2627, 1977), and in an accompanying editorial (p 2636) that dramatized this multimessaged communication. Permit me to comment since the article described how I recognized by proxy a case of lead poisoning in a patient who contacted me in 1970. She described her story and her symptoms to me in a letter, and I diagnosed this case tentatively as one of lead poisoning, even though I am not a toxicologist, as alleged in the article.I have never seen the patient but have had lengthy telephone discussions with her and the treating physician. To my knowledge it has not been proved beyond any reasonable doubt that