If breast milk is like medicine...

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
If breast milk is like medicine...
4
Wed, 08-10-2011 - 9:51am

then would that make formula a "counterfeit drug", that is missing the active ingredients?

A drug that might keep you from dying, but it does nothing to help you heal?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-10-2011 - 10:03am

Wow. No matter how long I stay on this board there is always something original and powerful to come along.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Wed, 08-10-2011 - 10:59pm
I think that they formula companies would likely escape any punishment becuase if you look closely at their promotion campaigns they are clear that formula is not equal to BM. They do imply it's good enough but as long as they don't try to pass formula off as BM in a can then they would not be guilty of selling counterfeit medicine. They might have to reword some of their ad language slightly just to be on the safe side but otherwise I doubt it would change how they promote BM in any significant way. The thing is that BM has several conditions it treats so to speak including nutrition and immunological health while formula only really deals with nutrition. So that might mean the formula companies would have to be clearer that formula does not provide immunities and such unlike BM but I expect they will be able to find a way to market it that effectively still promotes formula as good enough without legally crossing the line into making formula equal to BM in can. This also assumes that the government would go after formula as a counterfeit drug if even if it where marketed as BM in can and based on past experience have seen the government back down in response to formula co. lobbying to often to believe they wouldn't give them another pass in this case.

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Wed, 08-10-2011 - 11:11pm

Well, I wasn't thinking of it in terms of being illegal - or about the gov't trying to prevent the manufacture of formula - not at all.

I was thinking more about the similarities to counterfeit drugs - like missing several ingredients, lacking the active ingredients, not providing the healing that the original does, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Thu, 08-11-2011 - 12:53am
I can see how on those terms you could look at formula as a counterfeit drug but it really depends on how it's marketed. The key thing that makes a counterfeit drug counterfeit is it being falsely marketed as the true drug or a generic equivalent when it lacks certain key ingredients. Maybe if BM was viewed like a drug then people would realize that formula is being falsely marketed as closer to BM then it really is. I think their is an issue with formula and BM being seen like many adults food choices. Many people agree that eating say a Big Mac or KFC fried chicken is not the healthiest food choice but also feel that occasional eating of fast food is not a serious health concern. They don't realize that a baby's immune system is not fully developed at birth and that their nutritional needs are somewhat special compare to adults. Adults can handle fast food on occasion better then a baby eating what formula which I would argue is in some ways equivalent to fast food when compared to BM. It's similar to the how certain drugs have a very negative effect on infants but are much less harmful to older child which can effect whether a nursing mother planning on taking said drug needs to wean their child.

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