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May 14, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(20):1617. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550460031005

For some years past a strenuous campaign has been conducted by the concern which practically controls the borax supply in this country, with the object of removing the very natural objection which the public has to the use of borax and boron compounds as food preservatives. The arguments for and against the use of these chemicals in foodstuffs have invariably centered about the question of their effect on the human system. That boron compounds would inhibit the growth of bacteria in meat has been tacitly assumed by both their champions and opponents, the point of dispute being the harmfulness of the chemicals per se. It now seems that it is by no means certain that boric acid, in the proportions usually used, will inhibit the growth of the most dangerous bacteria.

In view of the light which it throws on this question, an article on "A New Aspect of the