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The Infant Formula Controversy: An International Health Policy Paradigm

STEPHEN C. JOSEPH, M.D., M.P.H.
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Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(3):383-384. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-95-3-383
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The details of the most recent controversy over the inappropriate promotion and use and the harmful effects of infant formula, especially in the developing countries, have been extensively publicized by the media (1, 2) and in Congressional hearings. These issues, which had been in contention for years between industry and consumer activist groups and health-and-development professionals, have suddenly gained nationwide attention. The focal point for increased interest was the adoption by the annual Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) of an "International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes" in May 1981 (3). One-hundred eighteen nations of all geographic, economic,

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