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John Henderson, M.D.; E. R. L. Gaughran, Ph.D.
JAMA. 1952;150(5):508. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.03680050074026.
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To the Editor:  —In the interests of the thousands of physicians and other professional personnel throughout the world who weekly refer to The Journal, we feel it incumbent on us to direct your attention to the article entitled "Sterility of Market Cotton," by J. H. Silliker and E. P. Hess (J. A. M. A.149:1374-1376 [Aug. 9] 1952). This article is a matter of concern to us since it not only fails to utilize established statistical and technical bacteriologic concepts of sterility testing but, by frequently specious reasoning, arrives at a wholly misleading conclusion with respect to the sterility of various brands of absorbent cotton currently available on the open market.Although the term sterility is, of course, absolute, its use in the strict sense necessarily falls within the limitations of the methods currently available to detect contamination. It is general knowledge that, for most of the many thousands


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