Sunday, February 20, 2011

in the still of the night...

In the still of the night, amidst wakeful thoughts and drifting dreams, I reflect on the black and white mentality that pervades current thought. The world spins according to the spinners, the media. We are a world of players, on a stage set for self-destruct. Who can argue against the values that are directed by those in power? The men and women, who use spin to make logic stand on its head. We are directed to dance to the tune of the corporate melody, a melody so sweet, so sickeningly sweet that our minds rush from the sugar high. We crash, as all good things must come to an end. In the dim, swirling fog of twilight thought, I realize the world is not within the grasp of those who shy away from the sunlight of curious thought. The music is not so sweet. It is the wild and open field of human endeavor. Variations and more variations, always changing. Never one melody and one beat. It is millions of heartbeats and thoughts, intertwined and woven. We are a human race of many thoughts and many visions. Stop one thought, stop one vision, and the river of life becomes a river of death. And this is my dream of where we are going, when we refuse to listen to the beating of the many hearts and minds of the world. This is where we are going, when the only heartbeat is the dance of the corporate world. The world of dreams is spinning and spinning, its sweetness turning into sourness, our world upside-down. The twilight dreaming becomes a nightmare turned into reality.

The sun has risen on a new day and still I see the patents, unending. Reading, reading, and staring at the world of intellectual property rights. Property, who would think that word had so much meaning? Onward dear readers, onward to the valley of invention and property rights and profits. There is another US patent to look at, and it's called, "Method for preventing or treating respiratory infections and acute otitis media in infants using Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12," patent # 7862808. It is owned by Mead Johnson Nutrition Company, filed in 2005, with inventors Erika Isolauri and Seppo Salminen of Finland.

"In a meta-analysis of data from multiple studies, results indicate that breastfeeding may have a positive effect on the frequency of both infant respiratory infection and AOM [allergic otitis media]. Specifically, one study indicated that the feeding of many currently available infant formulas may be associated with a 3.6-fold increase in risk of infant hospitalization for respiratory infection when compared to at least four months of exclusive breastfeeding. Bachrach, V., et al., Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 57:237-43 (2003). Additionally, infants who are breastfed have been shown to have significantly fewer (about 50%) episodes of AOM than do infants who are exclusively formula-fed. Duffy, et al., Pediatr. 100(4):E7 (1997). These differences may be attributed to the fact that human milk promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. Duffy, et al., Dig. Dis. Sci. 44(8):1499-1505 (1999).

So there was a 3.6-fold increase in hospitalization for respiratory infection if an infant is formula fed. Parents know about this? Nope. Is it on a label on the can that the parents buy? Nope. Uninformed public. Let me see, if a product is known to cause an increase in hospitalization, one would think there would be more regulation of the product, possibly making it a prescription only product since it is a serious risk for infants? Nope. This patent also state that "in the US, 53% of lactating mothers introduce formula before babies are 1 week old." Of course this was filed in 2005, so old statistic but wonder if there has been much change in this statistic? The patent also states that, "by 4 months of age [breastfed infants] 81% receive formula on a regular basis." And that fewer that 5% of infants are being breastfed at 12 months of age." All this data on infant formula regarding breastfeeding. Interesting.

This patent mentions another patent (patent # 6613549) called, "Probiotic therapy for newborns," owned by Urex Biotech of Canada. Mead Johnson mention it because this patent uses probiotics in a different way, for treating intestinal infections specifically. Again, breastfeeding gives infants natural, live probiotic elements, unlike infant formula.

"Bifidobacteria have been shown to effectively treat intestinal infections in Chernobyl patients in Russia, where the intestine has been damaged by exposure to radiation (unpublished data)."

"In studies of acute diarrhea (bacterial and rotaviral) in children 6 to 36 months of age, a Lactobacillus reuteri probiotic was given at 10e10 and 10e11 colony-forming units daily for 5 days and found to significantly reduce the duration of watery diarrhea compared with placebo (Shornikova et al. J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr. 1997, 24: 399-404; and Shornikova et al. Peediatr. Infect. Dis. 1997, 16: 1103-1107)."

And of interest may be the patent called, "Method of enhancing cognitive ability in infant fed DHA containing baby-food compositions," patent # 7413759, owned by Beech Nut Nutrition Corporation with inventors Eileen E. Birch et al (long list which includes Dennis R Hoffman and Richard C. Theuer). I believe it was Birch's research that got the bandwagon rolling to get DHA included in formulas. By the way this patent was developed by a grant from the NIH (grant # HD22380). " Thus the US Government may have certain rights in this invention." If one goes to the Beechnut website, one will note that they are partnered or collaborating with Similiac (infant formula company--Abbott). Of interest is that this patent seems directed at breastfeeding,

"Evidence indicates that breast-fed infants have a long-term advantage in cognitive development over formula-fed infants."

"In various embodiments, feeding an infant a composition of the present teaching can commence as early as an infant will ingest semi-solid food, which can be, in non-limiting example, as early as about 4 months of age, about 5 months of age, or about 6 months of age."

"In various aspects a composition can be fed to an infant as a supplement to breastfeeding or as a substitute for breastfeeding."

It would seem that the baby formula/food industry is targeting breastfeeding by some of their comments in the patents. In the still of the night, the fog-shrouded dream is of mothers dancing to the tune of an industry. Dancing without knowing that the spiraling staircase to heaven has been spliced and glued with a new genetic blueprint.
Copyright 2011 Valerie W. McClain

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