Formula is as bad as AIDS

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Formula is as bad as AIDS
45
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 12:13am

(Using the ole exaggerated headline thing, sorry)

I suspect this article will bring up some controversy:

"Formula is a little bit like AIDS. Nobody actually dies from AIDS; what happens is AIDS destroys your immune system and then you just die of anything and that's what happens with formula. It provides no antibodies.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 7:57am

If a regular mom (rather than an undercover reporter) had said that her breastfeeding teacher had said formula was "like AIDS," I'm pretty sure lots of people would have thought the mom was exaggerating or even lying.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 8:40am

You have a remarkable ability of finding a way to globalize the indiscretion of a single breastfeeding trainer as a peripherally related fault of lots other people, persumably Big Meannies.

FTR, I agree with the idea that not breastfeeding is a "little like" or analagous to, HIV/AIDS, in that the effects are not always seen right away and that not breastfeeding leaves the immune system weaker than it should be and therefore unable to fend off infections at the usual rate. Yes, hundreds of US infants die annually because breastfeeding was not provided.

I do NOT believe that my headline "formula is as bad as AIDS" is an accurate summary of the breastfeeding trainer's remarks, nor do I think "formula is like AIDS" is. Both are exaggerations.

I think it is very appropriate for the ABA to look into the matter, as they have done.

I am also curious about the "every thirty seconds" comment. I have never heard an IRL Lactivist use it. I do not know if it is or was considered accurate worldwide, but I don't see how it could be accurate in Australia.

IF her facts are accurate, that does not necessarily determine that she behaved appropriately. Great fodder for debate though.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 9:28am
nisupulla wrote:

You have a remarkable ability of finding a way to globalize the indiscretion of a single breastfeeding trainer as a peripherally related fault of lots other people, persumably Big Meannies.


????

People frequently say that their breastfeeding trainers say outrageous things.  And a frequent reaction I see online is to pooh-pooh those claims as exaggerations.  The only reason this particular claim is being taken seriously is because an undercover reporter was able to document it.  I think others' claims should be taken seriously as well.

 

 

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 12:20pm

I was just coming to post about this - you beat me to it! :smileyhappy:

Couples were also repeatedly told a baby died "every 30 seconds" from formula feeding, prompting a rebuke from doctors.

"Formula is a little bit like AIDS," one of the association's leading counsellors told couples in the breastfeeding education class.

"Nobody actually dies from AIDS; what happens is AIDS destroys your immune system and then you just die of anything and that's what happens with formula. It provides no antibodies.

"Every 30 seconds a baby dies from infections due to a lack of breastfeeding and the use of bottles, artificial milks and other risky products. Every 30 seconds."

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/hardline-counsellor-slams-bottlefeeding/story-fndo1qgd-1226458040994

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 1:06pm

So what's the deal with the thirty second thing?

 

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 1:20pm

I think she was taking it from here:

A baby dies every 30 seconds from unsafe bottle feeding

One and a half million babies die every year in poor countries because they are not breastfed.

Baby Milk Action

Every 30 seconds a baby dies somewhere in the world because it was not breastfed (WHO statistic). Where water is unsafe an artificially-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea than a breastfed child, according to UNICEF.

http://www.babymilkaction.org/press/press11may03.html

Clicking o nthe Who Statistic link:

Where does this figure of 1.5 million infant deaths per year come from?


A. (13 August 2007) According to WHO and UNICEF...

The World Health Organisation estimates that 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not breastfed. This figure has been stated in this and other forms by WHO and UNICEF many times over the years.

The UNICEF website states (on 13 August 2007):

"It has been estimated that improved breastfeeding practices could save some 1.5 million children a year. Yet few of the 129 million babies born each year receive optimal breastfeeding and some are not breastfed at all. Early cessation of breastfeeding in favour of commercial breastmilk substitutes, needless supplementation, and poorly timed complementary practices are still too common. Professional and commercial influences combine to discourage breastfeeding, as do continued gaps in maternity legislation."

For example, see UNICEF's publication State of the World's Children 2001 which states:

"Improved breastfeeding practices and reduction of artificial feeding could save an estimated 1.5 million children a year."

In a 1997 press release (14th January 1997), in response to the monitoring report Cracking the Code, UNICEF stated:

"Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not in dispute."

A 2003 study in the Lancet examined the question “How many child deaths can we prevent this year?” and concluded that promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding is potentially a more effective health intervention than provision of save water, sanitation and vaccination. Improved breastfeeding rates could prevent 13% of under-5 deaths in the 42 countries where most occur, amounting to 1.3 million. Appropriate introduction of complementary foods could prevent 6% of deaths. http://www.who.int/child-adolescent-health/publications/CHILD_HEALTH/Lancet_CS.htm

In 1995 Baby Milk Action was required to defend the statistic before the Advertising Standards Authority after stating in a Nestle boycott advertisement:

"Every day, more than 4,000 babies die because they're not breastfed. That's not conjecture, it's UNICEF fact."

We did so successfully and, as the ASA report notes, this was with the support of WHO.

At the World Health Assembly in May 2001 WHO presented its Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (download as a pdf file for reading with Acrobat Reader from the WHO site). This report opens:

"Some 1.5 million children still die every year because they are inappropriately fed, less than 35% of infants worldwide are exclusively breastfed for the first four months of life, and complementary feeding practices are frequently inappropriate and unsafe."

http://www.babymilkaction.org/resources/yqsanswered/yqanestle.html#13aug01


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 1:34pm

The UNICEF website states (on 13 August 2007):

"It has been estimated that improved breastfeeding practices could save some 1.5 million children a year. Yet few of the 129 million babies born each year receive optimal breastfeeding and some are not breastfed at all. 

And that calculates to about one child every thirty seconds and it applies to places where the water is unsafe - I see. Thanks.

Avatar for pterodactyl
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2003
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 2:00pm

"I just don't think those comments are helpful in the long term. We have enough evidence that shows breastfeeding is best wherever possible. But women who for whatever reason are unable to breastfeed should not be ostracised," Dr Markwell said.

Wow, how did we get from the above statements to ostracizing mothers who bottle feed?  

This is what bugs me.  Any specific factual statement as opposed to general fluff about "the best possible start" is immediately labeled as ostracizing mothers.  

The teacher did not say that formula was as bad as AIDS.  WHat she said was that in both cases, the danger is from other, opportunistic infections.  They have that in common.  Even if you were going to try to argue that it's not true, who said anything about ostracizing mothers?   

Avatar for pterodactyl
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2003
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 2:22pm
I'm curious - where have you seen such claims pooh-poohed? Because any parenting site I've ever been on, with the exception of this board, the accepted conventional wisdom is that healthcare has been taken over by crazed lactivists who will accuse you of child abuse for giving a bottle of formula.


As for me, yes I am dubious of such claims, and this undercover reporter provides a perfect example of why. What was said, was in effect, "Formula itself isn't harmful, but since it doesn't provide immunity you become susceptible to dangerous infections - kinda like with AIDS." And all that was heard from that statement was "Formula is like AIDS!!!!!"
Avatar for pterodactyl
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2003
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 2:23pm
Isn't that the sort of thing people should want to know before making their "informed choices"?

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