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July 24, 1909


JAMA. 1909;LIII(4):304-305. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02550040056009

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The statement that chemical preservatives in general, and benzoate of soda in particular, are used by many manufacturers of foodstuffs to cover inferior material, has been frantically denied by the makers and users of such preservatives. A recent judgment of the United States court throws some light on this vexed problem. Over six hundred cases of tomato catsup prepared by S. J. Van Lil, of Baltimore, were seized by the government and subjected to examination. The cases were labeled in part "Navy Brand Catsup. Prepared with one-tenth of 1 per cent. Benzoate Sodium.... This catsup is superior on account of its Fine Zest and True Tomato Flavor. Made from Choice Ripe Tomatoes...." Examinations of the product, verified by a previous inspection of the factory where it was made, showed that the "Choice Ripe Tomatoes" consisted in fact of the "pulp screened from peelings and cores of tomatoes" and the "waste

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