Missing children used to appear on milk cartons in the US

Many people outside the United States don’t know about this practice; some might have seen it on TV shows from the 80s or 90s.

It was implemented in 1985 because at the time, there was no system for tracking missing children nationwide. Six years earlier, in 1979, a six-year old child named Etan Patz had gone missing; his photo was printed on milk cartons so that consumers would feel encouraged to look for him (he was never found and declared dead).

Many companies adopted this practice, which was replaced by the Amber alert system, and was also the basis for the book The face on the milk carton.



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