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Rising oil prices and slow growth in industrialised countries meant that we needed to respond to a radically changed marketplace. In 1977, we made our second venture outside the food industry by acquiringAlcon Laboratories Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of pharmaceutical and ophthalmic products.

A boycott against Nestlé was initiated by the U.S.-based organisation Infant Formula Action Coalition over concerns about our promotion of infant formula in developing countries. This led to a consultation process with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and non-governmental organisations. The U.S. boycott ended in 1984 with the signing of a Statement of Understanding between Nestlé and the International Nestlé Boycott Committee