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Al Dente

The United States, Abbott, Nestlé, Breastfeeding, and Breastfeeding Substitutes

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32 minutes ago, Al Dente said:

So, can someone please tell me how our government justifies this?

Wow, I thought sure the article was going to be about opposition to breastfeeding in public, but the only times the world "public" is used is for "public health" and "public policies."

I'm of the impression that this administration's tactics are to feint with outrageous things, hoping to get the public focused on them, and then seemingly "more normal" things become palatable in comparison, which enables them to sneak through (accompanied with a weary sigh of public relief): This is about the best example I have.

PS - Anyone who thinks Justice Kennedy's retirement is a big deal may want to start thinking about Justice Ginsburg. You should probably read that sentence about ten times.

---

[No topic is off-limits here, but please remember the three things that aren't allowed:

1) partisan politics - it's okay to discuss issues and positions, but not to say "How can anyone be an 'X?'"
2) religion - it's okay to be religious, but not okay to insult others, or to try and convert people to your religion.
3) name-calling - it's okay to discuss policies and items, but not to issue personal insults of the form, "X is a Y."

It isn't that I don't have strong, personal views (I do), but why should *my* views be the final arbiter of what's allowed?]

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All breastfeeding does is improve the mother's health and baby's immune system. Formula though...makes people lots of money: 

"The global baby food market is a very competitive industry and retail sales in this segment are projected to grow from 53.31 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to about 76 billion U.S. dollars by 2021, making it one of the fastest growing food and beverage categories. As the world’s most populous country, it should come as no surprise that China was the biggest market for baby food as of 2016, with over 12 billion dollars in sales revenue, with the United States coming in second place with about seven billion dollars in sales."

"U.S. Baby Food Market - Statistics & Facts" on statista.com

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40 minutes ago, Al Dente said:

So, can someone please tell me how our government justifies this?

"Trump Administration's Opposition to Breastfeeding Resolution Sparks Outrage" by Ed Pilkington of The Guardian

What has our nation become? Isn't this a form of fascism? This is clearly an effort to put corporate profits over the health of babies. Does anyone see the irony in that?

The above article links to the first news story on this first reported in the NYTimes.  Both articles reference the behind the scenes arm twisting and threats; the NYTimes article gives more detail.  The pressure from the US Representatives to this group sound like something applied by gangsters; threatening and bullying;  vicious in its application.  Representatives from smaller, weaker, poorer nations were intimidated.  Sources were afraid to give their names for fear of subsequent threats.  The scope of the threats were expansive concerning significant elements of US aid and support.   All of that heavy handedness for an issue that in no way should merit that kind of treatment.

It appeared to be a flat out effort to aid some huge conglomerates who are the main producers of alternatives to breast fed milk.  I couldn't help but think that the next step is to follow the money of campaign contributions.  Per the Guardian Article Abbott Laboratories contributed to the Trump inauguration.  When one looks at past contributions by Abbott it appears to have spread its campaign contributions among both parties with a little more going to the GOP--not that much more though.   The story suggests one should follow how Abbott spends its political funding going forward.

The story reads like straight efforts to blackmail and threats.  Its disgusting.  It renders this government's actions akin to those of a bunch of mafia gangsters.  Its scary.

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15 minutes ago, NolaCaine said:

Abbott's Lobbying Activity on opensecrets.org

In fairness to Abbott, they make lots of stuff...like actual diagnostic tests.

Nestle is the other big one. 

Thanks:  After reading the article I checked Abbott's spend on opensecrets but not Nestle. Abbott's past history showed $$ flowing to both parties with a little more corporate $$ flowing to the GOP ...but not that dramatic. The NYTimes article indicated that Nestle was not pushing the US resolution.  OpenSecrets didn't reference the Abbott contribution to the Trump inauguration, and frankly I would start following their political contributions going forward, not their past history.

I found the story grotesque.  It reeks of strong arm tactics and gangersterism.  I grew up in an area with mafia and gangsters.  I never saw it in practice.  Only heard about it.  Every story I heard was threatening.  It is not a healthy environment.

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The NYT's article also reports that Russia stepped in to introduce the resolution and, guess what?  Russia was NOT subjected to threats and intimidation from the United States!  Hmm, what would account for that, do you think?

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26 minutes ago, LauraB said:

The NYT's article also reports that Russia stepped in to introduce the resolution and, guess what?  Russia was NOT subjected to threats and intimidation from the United States!  Hmm, what would account for that, do you think?

DJT doesn't want to lose those Russian votes!

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His tweet makes no sense - someone who is in poverty should be encouraged to nurse (FREE), rather than spend money they don't have on formula.

And the resolution doesn't say that formula shouldn't be available, just that the government should devote resources to educating expectant mothers that nursing is superior in most cases. Which destroys the other half of his argument.

My ex is a lactation consultant, and the entire profession is aghast. This one is a no-brainer to support.

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Also, when living in poverty, or even some developing areas of the world (like Flint) access to clean water is not guaranteed.

Did you know that if a woman breastfeeds, her breast cancer risk goes down? It's cumulative too so the more you do it, the lower the risk goes.

Oct, 2014 - "Breastfeeding Lowers Your Breast Cancer Risk" by Brittany Cordeiro on mdanderson.com

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1 hour ago, NolaCaine said:

Also, when living in poverty, or even some developing areas of the world (like Flint) access to clean water is not guaranteed.

YES. This is why the WHO guidelines and support matter so much, particularly, in developing countries. Regardless of what you think about the quality of studies showing that breastfeeding makes kids smarter / better behaved or provides superior nutrition*, it is basically inarguable that breastfeeding is a substantially safer method of feeding in places with inadequate sanitation and literally saves lives.  Then again, this administration hasn't shown much interest in helping people in or from developing nations so this stance is, sadly, par for the course.

*I say this as a BFing mama on her second round feeding a year+ child that thinks the pressure to breastfeed in the U.S. has gone way overboard.  Promotion of a feeding method and pressure to do so are not the same.

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Folks, you're being counted on to use logic and intelligence, when sometimes, the only way to defeat a bully is with more primitive methods.

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I can't get this story out of my head. I'm an atheist, but I hope there's a special place in hell...

I didn't know about this Nestle boycott. This kind of shit has been going on for a long time, and there are details I hadn't even considered. Obviously (at least to any person who can think), breast milk has all kinds of benefits that formula does not, but also:

From Wikipedia

  • Formula must be mixed with water, which is often impure or not potable in poor countries, leading to disease in vulnerable infants.[3] Because of the low literacy rates in developing nations, many mothers are not aware of the sanitation methods needed in the preparation of bottles. Even mothers able to read in their native language may be unable to read the language in which sterilization directions are written.
  • Although some mothers can understand the sanitation standards required, they often do not have the means to perform them: fuel to boil water, electric (or other reliable) light to enable sterilisation at night. UNICEF estimates that a formula-fed child living in disease-ridden and unhygienic conditions is between 6 and 25 times more likely to die of diarrhea and four times more likely to die of pneumonia than a breastfed child.[4]
  • Many poor mothers use less formula powder than is required, in order to make a container of formula last longer. As a result, some infants receive inadequate nutrition from weak solutions of formula.[5]

And most egregiously:

"IBFAN claim that Nestlé distributes free formula samples to hospitals and maternity wards; after leaving the hospital, the formula is no longer free, but because the supplementation has interfered with lactation, the family must continue to buy the formula. IBFAN also allege that Nestlé uses "humanitarian aid" to create markets, does not label its products in a language appropriate to the countries where they are sold, and offers gifts and sponsorship to influence health workers to promote its products."

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Yeah, the lactation/nursing/OB fields have long known about the Nestle connection in third world countries. It's been going on for like 30 years.

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We were all boycotting Nestle back in the 1980s over this issue when we weren't busy going to No Nukes rallies.

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2 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Just so everyone is aware, Nestle is a Swiss company.

The practice is no less reprehensible when engaged in by a foreign corporation.

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This is a good writeup from Vox about the underlying industry particulars of the U.S.'s aggressive stance on this issue: The next frontier of Trump’s defense of baby formula. Apparently they are setting the stage to support promotion of the "growing-up milks" formula substitutes as well.

As a counterpoint to the general outrage on this topic and with regards to the missed opportunities in adding nuance to the WHO's BFing recommendations, here is an essay from Slate illustrating the problem (and almost my exact experiences) with how promotion of BFing under the WHO's "Baby-friendly" guidelines is implemented, at least in the US: WHO’s Language on Breastfeeding Really Is Flawed.

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Great points made in Vox article. Men might not know that breastfeeding is difficult, and hurts. We also lost a generation of breastfeeders so, for example, our moms, aunts, ect., could not pass down the info on how to get that newborn to latch. 

That education class the author writes about sounds like downright cruel and unusual punishment.

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