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March 13, 1909

Benzoate of Soda in Foods

JAMA. 1909;LII(11):905. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540370063015

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To the Editor:  —The preservative question, more especially regarding the influence on health of sodium benzoate, may be considered from a different point of view than that taken in your recent editorials. You state that the experiments of the referee board extended over a period of four months while those conducted in the Department of Agriculture extended over nearly a year. The facts are that the department subjects each received 35 grams or less of benzoic acid or sodium benzoate during twenty days and in a supplementary study 12.5 grams during ten days; while the subjects of the referee board each received about 125 grams of sodium benzoate during ninety days. Furthermore, the results in the two series are in substantial agreement. I clearly pointed out, before the report of the referee board was announced (Medical Record, Jan. 2, 1909, p. 16), the evidence presented in Bulletin 84, Part IV,

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