Victor S. Sloan, MD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Sloan V.; A Lesson From the Slaughterhouse. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156:328. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-156-4-201202210-00026
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(4):328.
TO THE EDITOR:
I read the observation from Pusl and colleagues (1) regarding exogenous thyrotoxicosis with interest. The great medical journalist Berton Roueche described a similar phenomenon in his long-running column in The New Yorker, “Annals of Medicine” (2). In 1985, investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced an epidemic of thyrotoxicosis in a South Dakota meatpacking plant. Neck trimmings from the plant were being sold as 90% lean ground beef. The link was proven by, after approval by the Human Subjects Committee, having 4 volunteers eat cooked samples of the meat. Blood samples were obtained before and after consumption. Postconsumption samples showed the presence of thyroid hormone. This epidemic led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prohibit meat processors from trimming near the gullet.
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