Infant and young child feeding: an analysis of the WHO/UNICEF meeting

Stud Fam Plann. 1980 Feb;11(2):72-5.


PIP: The WHO/UNICEF Meeting on Infant and Young Child Feeding, held in Geneva in October 1979, called for urgent action to improve the health and nutrition of infants and young children. The WHO/UNICEF Statement and Recommendations stressed the need to encourage and support breast feeding and to control the marketing of breastmilk substitutes in both developed and developing countries. The final recommendations concerning marketing and promotion of breastmilk substitutes were a compromise between very strong restrictions on industry proposed by several factions at the meeting and the working group which drafted the proposals on which industry was heavily represented. The recommendations are nevertheless stronger than industry had anticipated, although they are not very specific about how restrictions will be formalized or what mechanisms for monitoring and enforcement will be established. WHO/UNICEF was mandated to organize a process to elaborate an international code of conduct and model of national legislation, based on agreed upon principles. However, the authors believe that while the industry group announced it would abide by the recommendations, it did so in the interest of public relations and will attempt to weaken the final code and has sought to undermine the consumer movement in opposition to their activities in developing countries by assuring the public that the controversy is over.

MeSH terms

  • Bottle Feeding / trends
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • United Nations
  • World Health Organization