The industry today stands accused of harming the health of whole nations, says Mike Muller Photograph: The Baby Killer explained how multinational milk companies like his were causing infant illness and death in poor communities by promoting bottle feeding and discouraging breast feeding. Our Swiss associates were less subtle.
Formula must be mixed with water, which is often impure or not potable in poor countries, leading to disease in vulnerable infants. 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: 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.
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.
Nutrients and antibodies are passed to the baby while hormones are released into the mother's body. The practice of relying on free formula in maternity wards frequently means the mother loses the ability to make her own milk and must buy formula as stated in the following paragraph.
In Maythe US Senate held a public hearing into the promotion of breast milk substitutes in developing countries and joined calls for a Marketing Code. InWHO and UNICEF hosted an international meeting that called for the development of an international code of marketing, as well as action on other fronts to improve infant and early child feeding practices.
The Code covers infant formula and other milk products, foods and beverages, when marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable as a partial or total replacement of breast milk. It bans the promotion of breast milk substitutes and gives health workers the responsibility for advising parents. It limits manufacturing companies to the provision of scientific and factual information to health workers and sets forth labeling requirements.
In IBFAN alleged that formula companies were flooding health facilities in the developing world with free and low-cost supplies, and the boycott was relaunched the following year. Alongside the boycott, campaigners work for implementation of the Code and Resolutions in legislation, and claim that 60 countries have now introduced laws implementing most or all of the provisions.
If we find that the Code has been deliberately violated, we take disciplinary action. In one portion of the show he "received a tin of baby milk from Mozambique. All instructions are in English.
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