Talk for Article "America promotes breastfeeding at home, protects infant formula abroad"

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    I think the title of this article, “America promotes breastfeeding at home, but won’t hinder sales of infant formula abroad,” should be rewritten. What exactly is the contradiction of concern?

    I don’t know of any country that works to hinder the SALES of infant formula, at home or abroad. Sales should be distinguished from marketing. Marketing refers to actively promoting scales.

    There is an important International Code of Marketing of of Breastmilk Substitutes, adopting by the World Health Assembly (the executive board of the World Health Organization in1991. You can learn about it in detail by looking at the website of the global NGO, the International Baby Food Action Network.

    The US is the ONLY country in the world to have voted against the Code. The problems did not begin with the current administration.

    The US government says that it advocates breastfeeding, but at the same time, through the WIC program, it provides about half the infant formula used in the US, at no cost to the families.

    There is information about all this in my book, Governments Push Infant Formula. It includes case studies of the US, Egypt, and Chile.

    Now I will comment on the specifics in this article.

    Saying this is about a United Nations resolution is ambiguous, because the UN is comprised of many different sub-organizations and affiliates. This resolution came up in the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly.

    Saying some percentage of US infants are “breastfed regularly” is vague. Usually the main focus is on the percent that are “exclusively breastfed for six months,” since that is one of the main recommendations of the global health agencies.

    References such as “Center for Disease Control” should include links to the specific document. Without that, the reference is useless. Also, that first word should be Centers.

    Similarly, a reference to Nutrients with no web link is useless.

    This article includes a sentence that begins “Formula must be mixed with water, leaving mothers without access to a clean supply to feed their newborns contaminated food . . .” They are looking for a clean supply so they can feed their newborns contaminated food …”??? Perhaps that could be written another way?

    Another sentence begins, “But the general health benefits of breast milk were beginning to mount during this time …” The benefits remained what they always were, for each infant, but more were taking advantage of those benefits as breastfeeding rates increased.

    The chart should include a full reference, and a web link.

    I am not sure “the American medical system was moving towards breastmilk.” The formula companies have been very generous to pediatricians and nutritionists.

    Perhaps in another article, you should recognize that Breast is Best promotion by sometimes overzealous advocates prompted the creation of pushback from an NGO called Fed is Best.

    Fix the line that speaks about “Carpenter, who is no [sic] dedicated to breastfeeding advocacy.

    You say WIC is the largest buyer of formula in the US. It is important to recognize that WIC gets a rebate of about 90% of what it pays for formula. I offer my explanation for that in “Conflicts of Interest in the WIC Program.” World Nutrition. 2017. 8(1).

    Aloha, George Kent

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