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Physicians, Formula Companies, and Advertising: A Historical Perspective

Physicians, Formula Companies, and Advertising: A Historical Perspective Abstract • The recent advent of new advertising campaigns for infant formulas aimed at the general public via television commercials, newspapers, free formula coupons, and lay periodicals has disrupted a comfortable symbiotic relationship between infant food manufacturers and the medical profession that has endured for more than 50 years. In the late 19th century, physicians were concerned about the advertising claims of these products and generally felt that indications and directions for their use should be the province of the physician. Between 1929 and 1932, the American Medical Association, through its Committee on Foods and "Seal of Acceptance," essentially required the entire formula industry to advertise only to the medical profession. Since 1932, the US formula industry has developed into a $1.6 billion market. In 1988, Nestlé (absent from the US infant formula industry since the 1940s) acquired the Carnation Company and launched an advertising campaign to the general public for its formula products. Bristol Myers/Mead Johnson, in cooperation with Gerber Products Company, quickly followed suit. These actions threaten to once again remove the realm of infant feeding from the exclusive supervision of the medical profession. The new multimedia public advertising campaigns may increase the cost of infant formula to the general public and have a negative impact on the incidence of breast-feeding. In addition, formula advertising campaigns will likely increase the danger of advertising hyperbole and affect the level of financial support by formula companies for scientific meetings, medical research, education, and social events at medical meetings. (AJDC. 1991;145:282-286) References 1. Oski FA. Heating up the bottle battle . The Nation . 1989;249:665, 683-684. 2. Apple RA. 'To be used only under the direction of a physician': commercial infant feeding and medical practice, 1870-1940 . Bull Hist Med. 1980;54:402-417. 3. Meyer HF. Infant feeding practices in hospital maternity nurseries . Pediatrics . 1958;21:288-296. 4. Cone TE Jr. History of American Pediatrics . Boston, Mass: Little Brown & Co Inc; 1979:131-148. 5. Heer J. World Events, 1866-1966: The First Hundred Years of Nestlé . Lausanne, Switzerland: Nestl'e; 1966:29-35, 39-43, 58-64, 78-79. 6. Campbell P. Typescript history of Horlick's Corp. Available in: Horlick's Corp papers, 1873-1974, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Division of Archives and Manuscripts, Madison. 7. Rotch TM. The general principles underlying all good methods of infant feeding . Boston Med Surg J. 1893;129:505-506.Crossref 8. Report of subcommittee on infant feeding (1888 AMA meeting) . Boston Med Surg J. 1888;118:504-505. 9. Rotch TM. Pediatrics: The Hygienic and Medical Treatment of Children . 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: JB Lippincott Co; 1901:276-281. 10. Lackner E. Huebner's system of infant feeding based on calories . Arch Pediatr. 1907;24:549-553. 11. Tuley HE. Progress in pediatrics . JAMA. 1899;33:997-1001. 12. Darling EA. The use of whole milk and fat diminished milk in infant feeding . Boston Med Surg J. 1911;165:747-754.Crossref 13. A glimpse of Mead Johnson. 1971:8-9. Available in: Mead Johnson Company Business Records (1895-1971), Indiana State University, Evansville, Special Collection. 14. Ashley HF. History of Mead Johnson and Company [slide presentation] . Evansville, Ind: Mead Johnson & Co; 1968. 15. Gerstenberger HJ. Studies in the adaptation of an artificial food to human milk . AJDC. 1915;10:249-265. 16. Marriott WM, Schoenthal L. An experimental study of the use of unsweetened evaporated milk for the preparation of infant feeding . Arch Pediatr. 1929;46:135-148. 17. Bell ML. A Portrait of Progress: A Business History of Pet Milk Company From 1885 to 1960 . St Louis, Mo: Pet Milk Co; 1962:101-102. 18. Meyer HF. Infant Foods and Feeding Practice . Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas Publisher; 1960:95. 19. Communication from Philadelphia Pediatric Society on advertising of infant foods . JAMA. 1923;81:36. 20. Minutes of Section on Diseases of Children . JAMA. 1924;82:2042. 21. Resolutions from Section on Diseases of Children . JAMA. 1925;84:1743-1744. 22. Committee on foods. JAMA. 1932;99:391. 23. Committee on foods. JAMA. 1933;100:1175. 24. Advertisement . N Engl J Med. 1938;218:940-941. Editorial. 25. Mead Johnson advertisement . JAMA. 1930;95:22. 26. Apple RA. Mothers and Medicine: A Social History of Infant Feeding, 1890-1950 . Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Press; 1987. 27. Crawford WH. Infant feeding and summer care . Arch Pediatr. 1933;50:642-645. 28. Jelliffe D, Jelliffe EFP. Human Milk in the Modern World. Psychosocial, Nutritional and Economic Significance . New York, NY: Oxford University Press Inc; 1978:211-240. 29. McClomas M, Fookes G, Taucher G. The Dilemma of Third World Nutrition: Nestlé and the Role of Infant Formula . Nestlé SA; 1985:3-20. 30. International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes . Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 1981. 31. Fleischman D. AAP raps Gerber for delivering formula samples . AAP News . 1990;6:1. 32. American Medical Association Proceedings of the House of Delegates. Report of Council on Scientific Affairs. 138th annual meeting; June 1989. Resolution 9:343. 33. Statement Submitted to United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Monopolies and Business Rights on Advertising of Infant Formula. May 29, 1990. American Academy of Pediatrics, Dept of Government Liaison, Washington, DC. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Diseases of Children American Medical Association

Physicians, Formula Companies, and Advertising: A Historical Perspective

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1991 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0002-922X
DOI
10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160030050019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract • The recent advent of new advertising campaigns for infant formulas aimed at the general public via television commercials, newspapers, free formula coupons, and lay periodicals has disrupted a comfortable symbiotic relationship between infant food manufacturers and the medical profession that has endured for more than 50 years. In the late 19th century, physicians were concerned about the advertising claims of these products and generally felt that indications and directions for their use should be the province of the physician. Between 1929 and 1932, the American Medical Association, through its Committee on Foods and "Seal of Acceptance," essentially required the entire formula industry to advertise only to the medical profession. Since 1932, the US formula industry has developed into a $1.6 billion market. In 1988, Nestlé (absent from the US infant formula industry since the 1940s) acquired the Carnation Company and launched an advertising campaign to the general public for its formula products. Bristol Myers/Mead Johnson, in cooperation with Gerber Products Company, quickly followed suit. These actions threaten to once again remove the realm of infant feeding from the exclusive supervision of the medical profession. The new multimedia public advertising campaigns may increase the cost of infant formula to the general public and have a negative impact on the incidence of breast-feeding. In addition, formula advertising campaigns will likely increase the danger of advertising hyperbole and affect the level of financial support by formula companies for scientific meetings, medical research, education, and social events at medical meetings. (AJDC. 1991;145:282-286) References 1. Oski FA. Heating up the bottle battle . The Nation . 1989;249:665, 683-684. 2. Apple RA. 'To be used only under the direction of a physician': commercial infant feeding and medical practice, 1870-1940 . Bull Hist Med. 1980;54:402-417. 3. Meyer HF. Infant feeding practices in hospital maternity nurseries . Pediatrics . 1958;21:288-296. 4. Cone TE Jr. History of American Pediatrics . Boston, Mass: Little Brown & Co Inc; 1979:131-148. 5. Heer J. World Events, 1866-1966: The First Hundred Years of Nestlé . Lausanne, Switzerland: Nestl'e; 1966:29-35, 39-43, 58-64, 78-79. 6. Campbell P. Typescript history of Horlick's Corp. Available in: Horlick's Corp papers, 1873-1974, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Division of Archives and Manuscripts, Madison. 7. Rotch TM. The general principles underlying all good methods of infant feeding . Boston Med Surg J. 1893;129:505-506.Crossref 8. Report of subcommittee on infant feeding (1888 AMA meeting) . Boston Med Surg J. 1888;118:504-505. 9. Rotch TM. Pediatrics: The Hygienic and Medical Treatment of Children . 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: JB Lippincott Co; 1901:276-281. 10. Lackner E. Huebner's system of infant feeding based on calories . Arch Pediatr. 1907;24:549-553. 11. Tuley HE. Progress in pediatrics . JAMA. 1899;33:997-1001. 12. Darling EA. The use of whole milk and fat diminished milk in infant feeding . Boston Med Surg J. 1911;165:747-754.Crossref 13. A glimpse of Mead Johnson. 1971:8-9. Available in: Mead Johnson Company Business Records (1895-1971), Indiana State University, Evansville, Special Collection. 14. Ashley HF. History of Mead Johnson and Company [slide presentation] . Evansville, Ind: Mead Johnson & Co; 1968. 15. Gerstenberger HJ. Studies in the adaptation of an artificial food to human milk . AJDC. 1915;10:249-265. 16. Marriott WM, Schoenthal L. An experimental study of the use of unsweetened evaporated milk for the preparation of infant feeding . Arch Pediatr. 1929;46:135-148. 17. Bell ML. A Portrait of Progress: A Business History of Pet Milk Company From 1885 to 1960 . St Louis, Mo: Pet Milk Co; 1962:101-102. 18. Meyer HF. Infant Foods and Feeding Practice . Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas Publisher; 1960:95. 19. Communication from Philadelphia Pediatric Society on advertising of infant foods . JAMA. 1923;81:36. 20. Minutes of Section on Diseases of Children . JAMA. 1924;82:2042. 21. Resolutions from Section on Diseases of Children . JAMA. 1925;84:1743-1744. 22. Committee on foods. JAMA. 1932;99:391. 23. Committee on foods. JAMA. 1933;100:1175. 24. Advertisement . N Engl J Med. 1938;218:940-941. Editorial. 25. Mead Johnson advertisement . JAMA. 1930;95:22. 26. Apple RA. Mothers and Medicine: A Social History of Infant Feeding, 1890-1950 . Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Press; 1987. 27. Crawford WH. Infant feeding and summer care . Arch Pediatr. 1933;50:642-645. 28. Jelliffe D, Jelliffe EFP. Human Milk in the Modern World. Psychosocial, Nutritional and Economic Significance . New York, NY: Oxford University Press Inc; 1978:211-240. 29. McClomas M, Fookes G, Taucher G. The Dilemma of Third World Nutrition: Nestlé and the Role of Infant Formula . Nestlé SA; 1985:3-20. 30. International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes . Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 1981. 31. Fleischman D. AAP raps Gerber for delivering formula samples . AAP News . 1990;6:1. 32. American Medical Association Proceedings of the House of Delegates. Report of Council on Scientific Affairs. 138th annual meeting; June 1989. Resolution 9:343. 33. Statement Submitted to United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Monopolies and Business Rights on Advertising of Infant Formula. May 29, 1990. American Academy of Pediatrics, Dept of Government Liaison, Washington, DC.

Journal

American Journal of Diseases of ChildrenAmerican Medical Association

Published: Mar 1, 1991

References