Infant Feeding

Anatomy of a Controversy 1973–1984

  • John Dobbing

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. G. Veraldi
    Pages 1-8
  3. Maggie McComas
    Pages 29-41
  4. Maggie McComas
    Pages 43-56
  5. Maggie McComas
    Pages 57-66
  6. Maggie McComas
    Pages 67-79
  7. G. Veraldi
    Pages 115-133
  8. G. Veraldi
    Pages 135-148
  9. J. Dobbing
    Pages 149-151
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 153-169

About this book


Infant Feeding is about a controversy which fascinated the medical and scientific world, as well as national and international health authorities, politicians, religious groups and consumer organisations, for more than 11 years. It often disturbed public opinion, being concerned, as it is, with nothing less than the life and death of babies. The infant food industry was directly accused of having caused a decline in breast-feeding through the inappropriate marketing of breast milk substitutes. The problem was said to be particularly acute in poor under-developed communities, because illiterate mothers were unable to understand instructions for its use, water was often contaminated and, in order to "stretch" an admittedly expensive product, it was over-diluted. The inevitable result, said the critics of industry, was malnutrition, gastroenteritis and increased infant mortality. These were very serious charges against companies which had until then been generally considered to provide an important contribution to medical progress and child health. One company was to be particularly singled out: Nestlé SA, the Swiss multinational. Perhaps it became the target because it was the longest establishment, and served well as a symbol of the whole industry. It is a story which is full of confrontations, intrigue and passionately-held opinions, based, nevertheless, on a sizeable body of medical science. After countless twists and turns, it has some sort of "happy ending". Yet a great deal remains to be said, as will be seen throughout the book.


World Health Organization child death development food industry health hospital malnutrition mortality nutrition planning regulation water

Editors and affiliations

  • John Dobbing
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child HealthUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag London 1988
  • Publisher Name Springer, London
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4471-1620-2
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4471-1618-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site