Saturday, January 19, 2008

Formula for disaster WHO Code violations in the Philipines

This is a 5 part documentary on you tube. I am only posting the first two here. I encourage you to go and view them all.
In New Zealand we may not have the level of poverty apparent here but we do have young women who have great difficulty affording formula. Babies need to have breast milk (or a breast milk substitute) for the whole first year of life. How many women feeding formula continue it for a whole year?
Our baby friendly hospital initiative is being looked at again. We MUST STAY STRONG. We cannot rely on formula companies to comply with the code. We must keep advertising of infant formula and samples out of our hospitals and away from health care professionals. When women absolutely must have formula for some reason we can tell them how to do this without brand promotion. We must not do the job for Wyeth or Nestle, they do a good enough job themselves. We must stay vigilant. this is absolutely shocking, disgraceful and a crime against humanity for the for the profit of corporations.

If you want mor information on this issue or want to know what you can do about it here is a link to Baby Milk Action


Anonymous said...

Well in NZ we are so fortunate.

Anonymous said...

oops forgot to say we need to use our relative privilege to help these women in whatever ways we can. We can lobby these companies who are breaking the code.

Carolyn McIntosh said...

yes we are fortunate that we do not have this level of poverty and squalor. Aren't these people amazing though? Happy and smiling, laughing and joking.

Even though we do not have these particular problems breast feeding is still best for New Zealand babies. Formula companies are still trying to subtly market their product. We have no reason to relax the rules and controls we have on formula marketing.

Sitting in Silence said...

Formula companies breech many rules when it comes to advertising infant formula.

Wyeth even make you register your support before you are directed to any part of their web site.
That alone makes me so mad!.

Carolyn, did you ever get a chance to look at the Mothers milk bank web site ?


Carolyn McIntosh said...

Yes I have checked this out Danielle (here is the link

It is good to see some action to get human milk back as a supplement for human babies. Back in the 70s and 80s we used to really value expressed breast milk. We would take excess supply from women and freeze to use for babies who needed that bit extra for some reason.

All of that changed with concerns about HIV and Hepatitis C and this contributed to the change in perception about the value of human milk I think. In the past it was not unheard of for a friend of family member to feed another's baby if it was unsettled. Even a grandmother might suckle an unsettled baby. Breast feeding is about a whole lot more than just nutrition.

I am glad that human milk is being valued again and that resources are there for women to help others in this way. Wouldn't it be great if milk banking was universally available for the children of the world.

How do others feel about this?

Anonymous said...

yes good comment Carolyn - i agree we can't afford to relax the controls we have in place around marketing by formula companies. I think the clip demonstrates this by showing us what can happen when these companies are given free reign. It shows just how unethical and revolting these companies and their ruthless pursuit of wealth at all costs are.
I reckon we must be able to get some funding to head over and speak to these women about the benefits of breastfeeding - or to get soime form of media to them. Might be a good project for our lactation class? Sure to be a publication or two there?

Anonymous said...

ok that last idea was actually brilliant! Lets get together and make that happen! i'm just about falling apart with excitement here. I have a plan. See you next week.

Carolyn McIntosh said...

What are you plotting? Can't wait to get together now and have a good old chat.

Sitting in Silence said...

Hi Carolyn.
I work for the Mothers Milk Bank here in Australia. We have been trying to gain government funding for over 2 years. We even have a submission listed with the House of Parliment.

Our vision is to extend this around Australia, in some OS countries it's the norm to have a Milk Bank.

We have a CD out just published, it has my sons own journey of the MilkBank on it. Would love to send you a copy to take a look at if you were interested.

Carolyn McIntosh said...

I would love to have a look at your CD. Can you email me at and we can talk about it.

I think governments do need to get behind this and support an initiative such as this. Where else can we expect this to be funded from? I suppose it could perhaps become some sort of commercial venture which could be set up to rival the formula companies. (tongue in cheek). Mind you formula companies can only make money by persuading women not to breast feed. A human milk bank is never going to do that. Have you thought about making your video available through Youtube, or is this a fund raising venture for you?

Carolyn McIntosh said...

just seeing if comments work here

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