Mead Johnson has agreed to pay $12 million to settle federal civil charges that its Chinese subsidiary bribed hospital professionals to recommend its infant formula to new or expecting mothers who were patients.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Tuesday with Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., a company with operations around the world and the maker of Enfamil formula. The Glenview, Illinois, company neither admitted nor denied SEC allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribery of foreign government officials or company executives to secure or retain business.

The SEC said the Chinese subsidiary paid professionals in government-owned hospitals to recommend the formula and to give the company the contact information of patients for marketing purposes.