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The Aggressive Marriage Between Pediatric Associations and Industry

There is an increase in the association of pediatric associations with formula companies for conferences and publications in many countries. When companies like Nestles and Gerber sponsor pediatric association conferences, I believe the wrong message is sent and people have the impression that the pediatric association is endorsing, as opposed to simply sponsoring, formula company products.

A positive example is The Indian Pediatric Association. It does not use formula company money for its conferences and scholarships and so does not promote the formula companies.  Any more positive (or particularly awful negative) examples that you have in mind? Leave it in the comments.

Update on Infant Formula

Check this site out http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2008/072008/allai for up to date information on formula companies and their products.

Infant formula companies don’t just sell infant formula to poor mothers.

In addition to expanding their markets infant formula companies are promoting products like Sustagen and Prosobe, historically marketed for only sick children but now for all children under 12. Companies like Nestles are buying up water sources and selling bottled water to mothers who should feed their infants naturally sterilized breastmilk with all its antibiotics and nutrients. Breastmilk is 90% water… even in the desert breastfed babies do not need to get water.

It is poor women who are most at risk and infant food companies are aiming to increase sales of their products to poor women.

Grassroots protest at Store Preventing a Mother Breastfeeding Succesful

An H&M in Vancouver told a breastfeeding mother she couldn’t breastfeed there due to “company policy”.  A nurse in protest was organized at the store and the company ended up changing its policy.

Hooray for networking and women support. Its really disgusting that even the 21st century, bottlefeeding is allowed but breastfeeding is considered indecent and offensive.