October 1991

Formula Companies and the Medical Profession-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics RIMA D. APPLE, PHD Department of History of Medicine University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 53706

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(10):1090. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160100020012

In Reply.—We thank Dr Newman for his comments, with which we have no major disagreement. It is true that physicians have benefited economically from the historic relationship between formula companies and physicians, and we implied that in our article. However, we cannot jump to the conclusion that this potential economic benefit was a primary motivating factor for our predecessors. As is usually the case, there are those who benefit economically from every humanitarian cause.

We also agree with Dr Newman that take-home starter packages supplied by formula companies and distributed by hospital employees are a form of advertising, especially with accompanying toys and nursing bottles. Ironically, the vast majority of the information contained in these starter packets are guides to breastfeeding. The starter packet information also emphasizes that mothers should consult their physicians for advice on infant nutrition. A discussion of this form of advertising was inadvertently left out

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