Sunday, August 10, 2014


              "Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money
                they don't have for something they don't need."
                                                   --Will Rogers

Well, US News and World Report, you have truly breached the gap between news and advertising.  When advertising becomes a news article, do we laugh or cry?  Should I be surprised?  Me, who only reads newspapers to figure out what the government wants us to believe.  No, I am not surprised.  Well dear reader how about taking a look at this news article.

"But sometimes, breast-feeding just isn't in the cards..." 

Let us believe in fickle fate, luck of the draw, or tarot cards in determining how we feed our babies.  Let's not question how hospital birthing policies and practices, lack of support and correct information, and advertising dressed up as news influences the roulette wheel of infant feeding choices.

"[Read:  Is Breast-feeding Always Best for Babies?]"

Subtle, eh?  I read it, didn't like it.  But I am sure that you can convince a number of readers in the validity of choosing the right formula rather than choosing breastfeeding.

"U.S. News, in partnership with Pharmacy Times, conducted a survey of 2,490 pharmacists to see which health products they recommend most often.  When it came to infant formula, 49 percent of pharmacists recommend Enfamil as the brand of choice.  Similac came in a distant second place with 21 percent of the votes, and PediaSure came in third with 17 percent."

Okay Mead Johnson (manufactures Enfamil) wins the contest...but pharmacists are recommending PediaSure (Abbott manufactures this product as well as Similac) for infants???  Hold on, PediaSure is not an infant formula!! Package brochure states for children 1-13 years old not recommended for children under 1 years of age and states consult a health professional for children under 2 years of age.  Obviously consulting a pharmacist about infant formula might not be the wisest thing to do, if some of them are recommending PediaSure as an infant formula.

"Formula isn't the place to look for a bargain."
"Generic companies don't put as much research into their products..."
"Don't splurge on organic."

No, splurge on name brand formulas.  Wow if I was Perrigo, manufacturer of store-brand infant formulas I would not be happy with this news article.  Perrigo won a lawsuit regarding Mead Johnson's false advertising in 2011. we go again the accusations regarding store brand formulas.  Oh wait this isn't advertising...its news!!!!!!  God save me from this crazy, messed up world.  Orwellian?  You bet.

Here's some more patents to enjoy...

Patent # 7893041 entitled, "Oligosaccharide compositions and use thereof in the treatment of infection," filed in 2004.  The inventors are Ardythe L. Morrow, David S. Newburg, and Guillermo M. Ruiz-Palacios and owned by the Children's Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati Ohio), Instituto Nacional De Ciencias Medicas Y Nutricion(Mexico, D.F.,MX), and University of Massachusetts (Boston, MS).

"Significantly enhanced immunologic protection by breastfeeding has been demonstrated for diarrheal diseases, respiratory tract illnesses, bacteremia, meningitis, and necrotizing enterocolitis." 

Patent # 8715769 entitled, "Preventing diseases in infants delivered via caesarean section," filed in 2006. The inventors are Joachim Schmitt et al., and the owner is N.V. Nutricia (Netherlands).  The believe that C-sectioned infants have different intestinal flora than vaginally-born infants.  The C-sectioned infants have less Bifidobacterium and less diverse Bifidobacterium. 

"Human milk contains non-digestible oligosaccharides which specifically stimulate the growth of lactic acid producing bacteria, such as species belonging to the genus Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus and prevent the growth and/or adhesion to the intestinal wall of other (pathogenic) bacteria.  Hence, when an infant receives human milk, the infant's intestinal flora develops into a healthy flora rich in lactic acid producing bacteria.  The presence of a healthy intestinal flora improves gut barrier maturation and/or gut barrier integrity, stimulates the formulation of mucus, inhibits pathogenic bacteria and stimulates the immune system."

Patent #8637297 entitled, "Isolation, identification and characterization of strains with probiotic activity, from faeces of infants fed exclusively with breast milk," filed in 2010.  The inventors are Jose Maria Vieites Fernandez et al., and owned by Hero AG (infant formula company in Europe).

""The general objective of this study is to isolate probiotic microorganisms for a subsequent use in the food and pharmaceutical industry, especially for using them in infant formula milk."

"..the French microbiologist Tissier observed that the fecal microbiota of breast-feeding newborns have more bacteria from the genus Bifidobacterium than the fecal microbiota of children who have received artificial milk and acknowledged the beneficial role of this microorganism."

Henri Tissier discovered Bifidobacterium in the 1900's.  He called it Bacillus bifidus communis but it is now called Bifidobacterium bifidum Ti. (Encyclopedia of Food Microbiology, ed. by Carl A. Batt).  The health of breastfeed infants was believed to be caused by this substance.  So do breastfed infants need probiotics?  No, they get it naturally through breastfeeding.  The infant formula industry will use this bacteria (derived from the feces of exclusively breastfeed infants) to imitate human milk's beneficial attributes.  Of course the question is how does one manufacture such substance and consider it equivalent?
Copyright 2014 Valerie W. McClain 

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