The Carabinieri today placed 12 doctors under house arrest for accepting bribes from baby formula makers to promote it over breast milk.
Police have been investigating “a common and widespread practice” in which pediatricians “prescribe baby milk formula to newborns in exchange for bribes in the form of luxury gifts and costly holidays”, a statement said.
Two of the doctors put under arrest were chief pediatricians in hospitals, the statement said. Five sales representatives for three different companies and one executive were also under house arrest, police said, without giving names.
The sales representatives “contacted the pediatricians to urge them to prescribe baby formula to newborns, going against unanimous scientific opinion on the need to promote the use of mother’s milk”, the police statement said.