The headline caught my eye this morning, "Infant Formula Manufacturers Violate Code of Ethics". As someone with a longtime interest in this issue, I wanted read the latest. In fact, there really isn't anything new in this disturbing report, although it's still important to keep trying to get people around the world - and particularly in the U.S. - to pay attention to this problem. There really hasn't ever been a substantive, independent report by any health monitoring agency or non-governmental organization that has ever demonstrated any wide-scale compliance with the World Health Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The baby formula companies always have and still do thumb their noses at any attempts to get them to stop turning mothers and babies on to infant formula and away from breastfeeding.

As a British Medical Journal accompanying today's report reads:

"Breast feeding is one of the most cost effective interventions to improve health and prevent illness in early childhood. Protection of breast feeding from commercial exploitation should be among the highest priorities for the international community, yet violations of the World Health Organization's code of marketing of breast milk substitutes have been seen regularly, despite companies' expressed intentions to conform. The study by Aguayo et al in west Africa in this issue provides further evidence that many manufacturers fly in the face of the code by providing free samples, giving donations to health workers, and contravening standards for labelling."

Here in the U.S., infant formula advertising is particularly pernicious and the huge pharmaceutical conglomerates that produce and sell the stuff (as well as the drugs used to treat the many diseases that are demonstrably more likely to occur in formula-fed children and their mothers) are closely tied to doctors, hospitals and all the childcare magazines in this country. If you want to read why and how most U.S. obstetricians and pediatricians continue to peddle infant formula at the expense of breastfeeding, you can read my article in, "Formula for Disaster". If you are interested inhow infant formula companies specifically target low income mothers here in the U.S. and around the world, check out my article "What Every Parent Needs to Know About Infant Formula"


I have a new essay up at Metro Pulse. It's about my recent acceptance of the fact that I am, in fact, Domestically Challenged.