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March 3, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(9):564-565. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460090050010

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During the year 1898 the State Board of Health of Massachusetts, as shown in its report, made a large number of analyses of foods, some of the results of which are of interest. It found that the use of antiseptics in milk is decidedly on the increase, weak solutions of formaldehyde being apparently the favorite. In one sample of the antiseptic used the directions given would make a proportion of 1 to 22000 of formaldehyde in milk, which, while perhaps not actively toxic, is decidedly open to the suspicion of being unwholesome—1 to 50,000 is the proportion suggested as proper or safe by Rideal, who rather defends the use of such preservatives. If this is done in Massachusetts, other states less well defended by state boards of health will not be likely to suffer any less. Of other food articles, the official analyst found adulteration most frequently in vinegar (53.2

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