Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trailer for Formula Fed America and a call to lactivism



Via Dou-la-la. This movie, Formula Fed America, looks really promising as a look into formula marketing practices and their effect on American health. I love me some documentary exposés. As @RaisingBoychick said, I could do without the opening that demonizes being fat as the worst result of formula dependence in this country, but despite that, I'm looking forward to this film. It features interviews with some of the leading lights of breastfeeding support and research, such as Dr. Jack Newman and Katherine Dettwyler, PhD.

Now that you're inspired, wanna do something about deceptive formula-marketing practices?

     • Join the Nestlé boycott, and read PhD in Parenting's question-and-answer sessions with Nestlé to educate yourself further about the company's doublespeak around supporting breastfeeding.

     • Secondly, if you're using BlogHer Ads, make sure you select the WHO-compliant new options to avoid any advertisements showing for formula or artificial nipples.

I want to put in a word before any formula-feeding mother reading this is offended or saddened, because that's not my intention: What breastfeeding activists are mad at is the companies that are promoting formula in deceptive and unethical ways, violating the World Health Organization's International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and by using such underhanded techniques as buying breastfeeding-specific search keywords that suggest if you click on a link you'll get breastfeeding support, when in fact you get an ad recommending you switch to formula. If anyone is harassing an individual mother who has, for whatever reasons, chosen formula feeding, that's not cool. I know it stinks the other way around, when a breastfeeding mom is persecuted for breastfeeding in public, so I imagine the shaming goes both ways, and it needs to stop. The point is that formula is not as good as breastmilk; if you have to use it because there are no other options for your baby, then you should, but formula companies should not be pushing it on women indiscriminately. It should not be marketed to or by physicians, and formula marketing needs to stay the heck out of developing countries, where the toll of formula feeding is much greater than in a Westernized country that has clean water and access to health care. That's what this lactivism is about.

All right, breastfeed on, my sisters!

7 comments:

jorjedatoy said...

Um, there is an ad for some sort of organic formula on your page. Just thought I would mention it. I'm seeing it just above the November giveaway roundup.

Hobo Mama said...

Ugh, it must be Adsense. All right, they're off. And I was SO.CLOSE to getting my payout, too. Based on average daily earnings, it would have been max three more years...

Olivia said...

Does anyone know when/where this documentary will be released? I couldn't find anything on the website.

I'm guessing my neighbor got on a mailing list since she did formula feed her baby, but she recenlty got two "samples" in the mail from similac. These samples? were full cans. Her baby is over a year now, so she gave them to me (we supliment with 4 oz of formula when I'm working).

I hate reading the ingredients in formula, it makes me feel so guilty. But I noticed something very deceptive on the can for "soy" formula. The first ingredient is not it's high fructose corn solid!

Melodie said...

@Olivia - I read over at Blacktating.blogspot.com that it was April 2010. I think. You might want to check her out and double check, but it's there. :)

Amber said...

I boycott Nestle, and I run the WHO-compliant BlogHer ads only. I've never used AdSense, because I've seen the 'breastfeeding' ads from formula companies show up on other blogs. Frankly? That's not cool.

I understand why a mom who uses formula would feel guilty. I had to supplement my first child during the very early days, when she was premature and not gaining weight and not latching. But I think the point stands that there is very little in the way of actual breastfeeding support available. I would never criticize or question another mother's choice, that's not my place. But I would absolutely question the formula companies and even doctors who spread misinformation in the first place. I wish that we had moved past that, but the sad truth is that we haven't yet.

Hobo Mama said...

Thanks, Amber. That's exactly what I meant. We also used formula at the beginning during our bad start to breastfeeding, but it really brought home to me how much worse it smelled and tasted than breastmilk, and I was fortunate to be able to eventually choose differently based on my particular situation. So I don't want to blame the mothers, but I do want to call for more support, culturally as well as individually, and for companies to stop undermining breastfeeding by using mothers' best intentions against them.

It's funny (not funny ha ha, just peculiar), but I've never seen an Adsense breastfeeding ad, so it must be location-targeted. It's aggravating that you can't choose what type of ads you're willing to show. Like I said, I had only a measly 3 years left before my big payout! Yeah, ok, maybe it was worth getting rid of them, anyway...

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