In Reply.—When we wrote our article cited by Drs Gupta and Gupta, we certainly intended, but perhaps did not adequately stress that the countries covered in that study, represent "the best situation possible." That is, the quality control procedures imposed by the industries themselves, the legislative measures taken to assure a high quality of the product, and the recommendations by national pediatric organizations are much stricter in several of the countries studied. In addition, the health of infants from these countries is, in general, much better than in many other parts of the world. Still the outcome of our study was discouraging in that many formulas contained inadequate levels of copper, zinc, and/or iron.
We appreciate the letter by Drs Gupta and Gupta, since their data demonstrate clearly that the levels in formulas of some essential trace elements, such as zinc and copper, continue to be far below recommended levels. This,