Friday, August 31, 2007

Big Money does it again

Referencing an online article at MSNbc

Once again the high finances of formula companies influences the health and well being of the public.
After the 2003-05 period in which the HHS ads were aired, the proportion of mothers who breast-fed in the hospital after their babies were born dropped, from 70 percent in 2002 to 63.6 percent in 2006

Apparently back in 2000 an ad campaign was designed to highlight the risks of formula feeding. This, in my opinion, is fantastic! It takes feeding our babies from a choice of breast or formula to formula being a risk no one wants to take.

I find it appalling, yet not really surprising the tactics that the formula companies will stoop to to keep women in the dark about the risks of formula.

The campaign the industry mounted was a Washington classic -- a full-court press to reach top political appointees at HHS, using influential former government officials, now working for the industry, to act as go-betweens.

Two of the those involved were Clayton Yeutter, an agriculture secretary under President George H.W. Bush and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Joseph A. Levitt, who four months earlier directed the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition food safety center, which regulates infant formula. A spokesman for the International Formula Council said both were paid by a formula manufacturer to arrange meetings at HHS.
Money can do anything...

According to former and current HHS officials, Cristina V. Beato, then an acting assistant secretary at HHS, played a key role -- in addition to that of Keane -- in toning down the ads. They said she stressed to associates that it was essential to "be fair" to the formula companies.
Fair to the formula companies?? What about the BABIES!!??!!?? Who's standing up for them and making sure that they get the best start possible?? This really infuriates me! Who really cares about the formula companies which are really just subdivisions of pharmaceutical companies? Why would anyone worry about "being fair" to them? It's not like they play fair, it's not like they don't throw money around to get any research squashed, or get high ranking government officials to change ad campaigns!

After the changes, the advertising company, McKinney + Silver of Durham, N.C., withdrew from the campaign in protest, according to sources inside and outside HHS.
YEAH McKinney and Silver!! Finally someone with a backbone!! I'm sure they lost money on this deal but I have to applaud anyone willing to stand up for their convictions like that!! If I am ever in need of an ad campaign I know where to go http://www.mckinney-silver.com/

This article and the 20/20 interview seems to focus on the bottle feeding mother's feeling guilty. Why is that an issue? Why is it okay to risk the health of millions because a few women may feel guilty about their choice?? Perhaps if they had fully researched formula in the first place they wouldn't have made that choice, or if a hard hitting ad showing the risks of formula had run while they were pregnant they would have chosen to breastfeed. The whole politically correct crap is really getting to me. You can't please all of the people all of the time!!

Here are the ads that I've been able to find that were eventually run.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i for one am thankful that i don't have to b'feed. moms like you make me want to do it even less. sorry, but with the heart medicines i am on, "my milk" is more harmful than any thing i have found in formula.

September 02, 2007 8:55 PM  
Blogger Babylady said...

and if your breastmilk is truly not safe for your baby because of your medications then it wouldn't be a problem getting a prescription for it and most likely your insurance would pay for it!
But I'm hearing opposing views here, you don't want to and I make you want to even less, but then it sounds like you would if your heart medications didn't make it so you couldn't???

September 19, 2007 12:43 PM  

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