FOOD: The Formula Flap

Rightly or wrongly, multinational corporations have been accused of a multitude of sins: bribery, tax evasion, reaping outlandish profits, seeking to overthrow governments. Lately the list has grown to include a truly ghastly accusation. Nestle Alimentana of Vevey, Switzerland, the mammoth (1974 sales: $5.6 billion) and venerable food company, is being charged by activists with responsibility for mass deaths of babies.

Nestle is a leading producer of powdered formulas for infant milk sold in less developed nations, where many mothers are uneducated and illiterate.

Too often these women either prepare formulas in...

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