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Monday, May 24, 2010

"Devious Tactics"

A great article on the Devious Tactics used my infant formula companies to sabotage breastfeeding, while making false health claims to boost the sales of their product.

Devious Tactics

May 18, 2010
We’ve all seen the ads… New Enfamil Premium with Triple Health Guard for Growth, Brain & Eye, and the Immune System! Sounds good, huh? If you go to the Enfamil website, the very first recommendation for babies under one year old is: No cow’s milk for the first year. What is in most infant formula? Partially hydrolyzed reduced minerals whey protein concentrate… from where? Cow’s milk. On their breastfeeding page, they are still recommending time limits of 10 to 20 minutes per breast. Words like uncomfortable, pain, embarrassing, and milk machine are used. They mention sore nipples, leaking, sucking difficulties, problems with let-down… it’s starting to sound like it might be difficult. Breastfeeding is automatically paired up with supplementing. Doesn’t that sound like it is suggesting that a mom’s milk supply won’t be adequate? The ads set moms up to expect to fail. But don’t worry… their expensive formula is waiting to help. They have colorful graphs showing how much choline and DHA is in their formula compared to breastmilk. They don’t bother to mention they make DHA in the lab from their “vegetarian” sources of fermented algae and fungus.
On their formula feeding information, they start out with “Nine out of ten mothers use formula.” How normal. How acceptable. They state, “Different brands of formulas have different levels of DHA, ARA and choline, key nutrients found in breastmilk” and “…you want your formula to be as close to breastmilk as possible.”
The Mayo clinic suggests, “Infant formula can be a practical and safe alternative to breastmilk.” They go on to describe cow’s milk formula, soy-based formula and protein hydrolysate formulas (for babies allergic to milk and soy). There is that cow’s milk again, though the formula site admitted babies shouldn’t have cow’s milk until they are at least a year old. On their breastfeeding versus formula article, the Mayo clinic is repetitive and offers nothing new on the first page where they talk of breastfeeding. The second page begins, “Breastmilk is the best food for babies. If breastfeeding isn’t possible, the benefits of breastmilk are lost. Still, risk is a relative term.” They talk about feeling guilt, “Guilt is rarely a productive emotion. Instead, focus on your baby.” Sounds a lot like when you’ve ended up with a traumatic cesarean and they tell you, “At least you have a healthy baby.” Don’t think about it… don’t deal with it. Pretend it doesn’t exist. A better question is why couldn’t Mom continue to breastfeed? Too much stress? No support? Problems with baby latching on or other issues a lactation consultant or educator may have been able to help with?
HERE to read the entire article