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UNICEF and baby food manufacturers. UNICEF continues to base its actions and programmes on the best interests of the child [letter]
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2000 Oct 14; 321(7266):960.This article presents the response of Carol Bellamy, executive director of the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), to the article by Yamey about the alliances UNICEF is seeking to form with manufacturers of infant formula that do not comply with the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes. Bellamy confirms that UNICEF will continue to refuse donations from manufacturers of infant formula whose marketing practices violate this code and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions. It is noted that there has been considerable discussion within the organization regarding this issue. This emerged when UNICEF participated in discussions with five large pharmaceutical companies on the possibility of obtaining various drugs to fight HIV/AIDS at discounted prices on behalf of developing countries. One of these companies is widely viewed as violating the code. This has been misinterpreted as a sign that UNICEF is weakening its support for breast-feeding and the code. However, Bellamy indicates that UNICEF believes that in the face of AIDS, their support for breast-feeding must be strengthened, not diminished. At the same time, UNICEF will uphold its support of the code and will continue to call violators of the code to account publicly.