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Infant Formula Controversy

MARK D. Simms, MD, MPH
Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(6):560. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970420084025.
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Sir.—I read with interest the marginal comment "The Anatomy of the Infant Formula Controversy" by Dr Joseph (Journal 1981;135:889-892) and the marginal comment "Comments on the World Health Organization's 'International Code' of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes" by Dr Graham (Journal 1981;135:892-894). The vote by the United States on the WHO Code regarding infant formula promotion in the Third World has brought the sad plight of the majority of the world's children to the attention of many who usually only associate infantile malnutrition with war and natural disasters. Perhaps, as Dr Joseph suggests, the US negative vote on this Code will ultimately prove to have a more powerful effect on improving the fate of these populations simply because it has produced such worldwide controversy.

However, the debate over the WHO Code is, in my opinion, simply a diversion from the main issue. As both Drs Joseph and Graham point out, underlying


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