The Scandalous History Of Infant Formula

New York City’s campaign against infant formula

inspired us to look into the dubious history of this product.

Outrage started in the 1970s, when Nestle was accused of getting third world mothers hooked on formula, which is less healthy and more expensive than breast milk.

The allegations led to hearings in the Senate and the World Health Organization, resulting in a new set of marketing rules.

Yet infant formula remains a $11.5-billion-and-growing market.

Social rights groups began dragging the industry’s exploitative practices into the spotlight in the early 1970s.

The New Internationalist published an exposé on Nestlé’s marketing practices in 1973, “Babies Mean Business,” which described how the company got Third World mothers hooked on baby formula.

But it was “The Baby Killer,” a booklet published by London’s War On Want organization in 1974, that really blew the lid off the baby formula industry.

Nevermind that these women lived in squalor and struggling to survive.

In poverty-stricken cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America, “babies are dying because their mothers bottle feed them with Western-style infant milk,” alleged War on Want.

Nestlé accomplished this in three ways, said New Internationalist:

  • Creating a need where none existed.
  • Convincing consumers the products were indispensable.
  • Linking products with the most desirable and unattainable concepts—then giving a sample…..

http://www.businessinsider.com/nestles-infant-formula-scandal-2012-6/

9) The medical community’s “guidance” on breastfeeding is a scandal in itself. Even without the now abundant evidence of the immunological, nutritional, intellectual and psychological benefits of breastfeeding for the baby, and its psychological, hormonal and physiological benefits for post-partum mothers, common sense and human empathy would strongly argue against intervening in this intimate time of mother-child bonding. Yet generations of american children have been denied this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for normal health, growth and emotional well being on the basis of little more than uninformed medical hubris working in concert with a well-financed corporate marketing campaign. The social costs of this medically inspired mass emotional neglect are predictable.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684040/
http://www.theecologist.org/trial_investigations/268337/breastmilk_vs_formula_food.html
http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBbenefits.html
http://members.tranquility.net/~rwinkel/MGM/blog/BFeedingIQ.txt
http://members.tranquility.net/~rwinkel/MGM/blog/BFStemCell.txt
http://www.babymilkaction.org/
https://web.archive.org/web/20130509044217/http://www.babymilkaction.org/shop/pcards.html#twins

Hospitals receive kickbacks from formula companies for handing out formula to new mothers, interfering with the crucial first few days when breastfeeding must be initiated:
http://banthebags.org/48

Meanwhile, the US WIC program for low income families distributes vouchers for infant formula, promoting poor health and lower IQ among poor children:
https://web.archive.org/web/20120515230358/http://www.homelandstupidity.us/2007/05/21/wic-killing-children-with-kindness

Breast milk contains oxytocin, the hormone of love and bonding:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3582266

Bottle feeding linked to post partum depression
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306987709005076

Lack of breast feeding linked to autism
http://www.internationalbreastfeedingjournal.com/content/1/1/16

Baby formula is contaminated with aluminum:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010091429.htm

Fluoride from drinking water (and “fortified formula water”) combines with aluminum. The fluoroaluminum complex is transported into the brain:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9518651
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10377600

http://members.tranquility.net/~rwinkel/MGM/birthUSA3.html

This picture tells two stories: most obviously, about the often fatal consequences of bottle-feeding; more profoundly, about the age-old bias in favour of the male. The child with the bottle is a girl – she died the next day. Her twin brother was breastfed. This woman was told by her mother-in-law that she didn’t have enough milk for both her children, and so should breastfeed the boy. But almost certainly she could have fed both children herself, because the process of suckling induces the production of milk. However, even if she found that she could not produce sufficient milk – unlikely as that would be – a much better alternative to bottle-feeding would have been to find a wet-nurse. Ironically, this role has sometimes been taken by the grandmother. In most cultures, before the advent of bottle-feeding, wet-nursing was a common practice.

“Use my picture if it will help”, said the mother. “I don’t want other people to make the same mistake.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20120228022309/http://www.unsystem.org:80/scn/archives/scnnewsextractsmay91/index.htm

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