Corp. greed puts babies at risk

To the editor:

I was excited to become a mother. I looked forward to nursing my baby, knowing that every disease I had experienced in the past would produce antibodies to help protect my baby. I knew that the countries involved in the World Health Organization agreed with me and for the past 40 years had promoted breast milk over sugary, factory-made products in Latin America, Asia and Africa. These countries were still losing too many babies a year and recently had drawn up a resolution in the WHO to emphasize the importance of breastfeeding over bottle feeding. Four decades of research have established the importance of breast milk which provides hormones and antibodies that protect newborns against infectious diseases. Suddenly, the U.S. stepped in and warned Ecuador that if they voted for this resolution, the U.S. would withdraw all financial support and begin a trade war.

Ecuador backed down. The same continued with over a dozen small countries who requested anonymity, fearing retaliation from the United States. This was blackmail! Had we become a bully? Why would the United States begin a trade war with little countries over breastfeeding babies?

Well, follow the money! It seems that Abbott Labs of Chicago and the Nestle Corporation head a $70 billion industry that produce sugary formula milk substitutes and they had been losing money in wealthy countries for the past few years. Although breastfeeding would save 800,000 babies from death each year and save mothers $300 billion in reduced health care costs, the American industries put profits over baby health and got the United States government to back them through threats and intimidation.

This is immoral. What does this say about some people’s stance on “pro life?” Well, guess who stepped in to save the day. Russia! The Russian delegates decided it was big enough to ignore our threats, and the resolution passed.

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