Baby Steps or Baby Stumbles?!
Direct contact with pregnant women is a deliberate strategy
of the infant formula companies. As hospitals are improving their
breastfeeding support practices, Mead Johnson Nutrition
Seminars keep rearing their ugly heads in various parts
Linking their product promotions to breastfeeding information,
is an underhanded way to elevate their flunkey product. Breastmilk
is definitely not their product and should be hands off for the
infant feeding industry.
And what about those nutrition seminars? It seems
that it is getting more difficult for this conniving company
to keep critics at bay. Slueths from Cambridge, Ontario, report
that the mere mention of the International Code by an attendee
can earn a dishonourable discharge by the MJ brassettes!
Writes mother Liana Moore, of Burlington, the seminar
invited first time moms-to-be to hear presentations on infant
nutrition by a registered dietitian. I had never considered the
absurdity of having a formula maker - a drug company - present
information about infant nutrition.
The seminar turned out to be a blatant attempt by MJ
to promote formula and suggest that their product was as good
- infant nutrition as promised in the advertisement turned
out to be about broadening the public knowledge about MJ products,
- references to the Canadian Pediatric Society to suggest that
formula is safe and healthy,
- recommendations of feeding schedules for breastfeeding babies
of every 3 to 4 hours,
- graphic demonstrations of how the MJ product is more like
breastmilk than the competition,
- iron in the MJ product is the same as what the infant absorbs
- no mention of the risks of formula feeding,
- no mention of the cost of artificial feeding, nor the hazards
of inappropriate use,
- no mention of the deficiencies in formula such as essential
fatty acids and immunological properties.
What you can do:
- Notify the venue manager (frequently a hotel) that this event
is highly unethical and contravenes the World Health International
Code. Ask the manager to deny MJ the privilege of using the premises
to mislead pregnant women about infant feeding.
- Register as an attendee. Raise questions about misleading
statements made and inform the audience about the risks of feeding
- Inform INFACT Canada about this International Code violation.
- Inform your local Medical Officer of Health.
- Inform, Allan Rock that MJ is violating the International
Code and misleading pregnant women about infant feeding.
- Inform the Dieticians for Canada and the Canadian Nurses
- Organize a sidewalk informational breastfeeding display!
- Use the media. Write a letter or issue a news release explaining
why this marketing tactic puts infants at risk.
Let us know what creative ideas you have to end this exploitation
of pregnant women.