1981 Scorecard Vote
Zablocki (D-WI) - Pritchard (R-WA) motion to adopt a Joint Resolution expressing dismay at the U.S. vote against the World Heath Organization's international marketing code for infant formula. The Resolution urged the Reagan Administration to cooperate with other countries in implementing the code, and urged the U.S. corporations which export infant formula to abide by it also. Some U.S. and foreign corporations have been vigorously promoting the use of infant formula as an alternative to breast feeding in third world countries. But the use of formula in poor counties frequently endangers or even kills the baby, because of improper sanitation, impure water, and the poverty and ignorance of the family. Once the breast milk has dried up, they have no choice but to use the formula, but often cannot afford it, and over-dilute it.
The U.S. was the only member nation of the World Health Organization to oppose the code, which sets guidelines forbidding the promotion of infant formula in the third world, and limits informational advertising to health officials. The Reagan Administration opposed the code because it did not want to dictate to U.S. corporations how to run their foreign operations. But environmentalists believe that the U.S. government has the responsibility to restrict the export of dangerous products or improperly marketed infant formula. Motion adopted 301-100; June 16, 1981. YES is the pro-environmental vote.