Sunday, October 21, 2007

Imitating human milk, genetic equivalency?

How does one imitate life? Can we make infant formula genetically equivalent to human milk? Will the industry find every component of human milk to engineer? And will industry create the research and the policy to make each component required substances in baby milks? Seems like they are already moving down that road. DHA, genetically engineered is a good example of funding the research, creating support through breastfeeding organizations, and then persuading governmental institutions to rubberstamp its necessity.

How for example is a genetically engineered amino acid like L-glutamic acid equivalent to the L-glutamic acid in human milk? How can we suppose that a fermented and mutant bacteria can create the same substance as human milk? Just as we seem to suppose that DHA made by some fermented mutant algae can create health. Or a fermented mutant yeast can create the ARA of human milk?

The new, improved infant formulas created to imitate human milk is beneficial to who? If human milk is the gold standard, then the race by industry is to imitate it and "improve" it.
But maybe the premise of industry is the ultimate illusion. The reality is that humanmilk is more than its components. The complexity and the synergy of breastfeeding is that the system creates health for the giver and the receiver. It creates a physical need, the presence of both mother and infant. One cannot easily imitate such a system.

Should human milk be the gold standard of baby milks? Isn't the reality that nothing can be created by man that imitates this system? The reality is that all baby milks are risky. Mothers and babies risk their health by buying into the industry's illusion that somehow man can create an imitation of a system that meant the survival of babies but also the survival of mothers.

1 comment:

  1. nleeguitar@yahoo.comOctober 30, 2007 at 1:55 PM

    Hi Valerie:

    What a great idea, for you to put up this website and blog. I look forward to learning lots from you.

    Nikki Lee