There is an inaccurate e-mail that has been circulating on the internet regarding tampons that appears to have the name of my assistant, Stephanie Baker, associated with it. Stephanie and I welcome the opportunity to disavow ourselves completely from the content of this e-mail and from its dissemination. We are distressed that this information has been circulating in a form that makes it appear that it is associated with this laboratory.

My assistant, Stephanie Baker, received the e-mail in question some time ago from an unknown person. Without thinking carefully, she forwarded it on to some of her friends with a statement indicating her disbelief, such as "Can you believe this?" One recipient removed this statement of disbelief, and then sent the message on to some other people. Being a new employee, Stephanie did not realize that the e-mail program she was using automatically attached her signature box to any forwarded message; her signature box includes her title as my assistant. Thus, it was in this manner that my name became attached to this message. All of this took place without my knowledge and certainly without my approval.

Unfortunately, it soon became evident through phone calls and e-mails to Stephanie that this e-mail was being circulated widely by others, and that recipients were making the assumption that we were associated with it in some manner. This is obviously not the case. When Stephanie learned what was happening, she realized what a serious misstep she had taken. She informed me immediately, and she has done her best to undo the damage of this misinformation when she has had an opportunity to do so.

I think that it is amazing to everyone how rapidly misinformation can proliferate through the internet system when people are not sufficiently cautious or informed. Hopefully, you will realize that information coming through the internet is not always accurate, nor is it necessarily endorsed by people whose names appear to be associated with it.

I am certainly sorry for any time or effort you have spent on this specious issue, and again, we appreciate that you may have contacted us and given us an opportunity to disavow ourselves from this e-mail message and from its dissemination. This has been a most regrettable incident, and my assistant and I are working together diligently to set the record straight.

For your information, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains an excellent website in which it debunks the false allegations in the tampon e-mail being spread through the internet. The FDA site is:

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