Tuesday, May 26, 2015
"IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS BREAST MILK..."
"You cannot insert a gene you took from a bacteria into a seed and call it life. You haven't created life, instead you have polluted it."--Vandana Shiva
"In the beginning there was breast milk," says the sweet voice of the narrator as she describes the history of breastfeeding. As I watched the 4-minute video by the WK Kellogg Foundation, I was rather taken aback by their version of the history of breastfeeding, particularly since the first sentence is, "in the beginning there was breast milk." I am fascinated by that statement and that point of view. I always imagined that in the beginning there was breastfeeding not breast milk. But maybe I am caught up in the game of who came first the chicken or the egg? As I watch the historic timeline presented by this video, I was struck by what this video considered important. The only infant formula mentioned was Nestle and their Lactogen. Why didn't they mention Mead Johnson or Abbot, more common infant formulas in the USA? Why did they mention the Innocenti Declaration but no mention of the WHO Code in their timeline. Show Nestle formula but not talk about Nestle as a violator of the WHO Code? History or hiding history? Why did the soothing voice of the narrator state, "Enough this isn't natural (regarding formula feeding), yet the visual focus is of the breastfeeding mother with the statement, "Enough this isn't natural?" Subliminal messages? Do we remember more of what we see than what we hear? Why did this timeline state that infant formula improved over the years and visually we see the #1 improved quality? Why did they state that nurseries in hospitals, the separation of mothers and babies, was because of the need to protect babies from bacteria/germs; without bringing up that infant formula companies often funded and designed hospital nurseries to increase mother-baby separation? One of the last signs to read on this history timeline is a home made poster that says, "Mother's Milk Fresh, Local, Sustainable." Kinda makes one wonder what is this video promoting? Breastfeeding? Or Breast Milk?
The video by WF Kellogg Foundation is entitled, "Growing a first food movement," appears to me to be rather slanted. It shouldn't be, should it? Afterall, thanks was provided to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, Best for Babes, Black Mother's Breastfeeding Association, US Breastfeeding Committee, among other organizations that should know alot about breastfeeding history. Both the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and the US Breastfeeding Committe have been either supported or funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation.
"The foundation receives its income primarily from the WK Kellogg Foundation Trust, which was set up by WK Kellogg. In addition to its diversified portfolio, the trust continues to own substantive equity in the Kellogg company."
Celeste A. Clark who was previously employed by Kellogg as a nutritonist and later became involved in Kellogg's worldwide communications, nutrition and regulatory programs, active in the Institute of Medicine Food Forum as well as WHO Industry Group. She is on the BOD of Mead Johnson as well as the food company, Diamond. Another Board member of Mead Johnson, Anna C. Catalano is on the Global Advisory Board for the Kellogg Innovation Network.
A few years ago in a previous post to this blog, I have written about Kellogg's being considered a stakeholder in the infant formula industry.
So should we be particularly surprised that this video has a slant to it? Should we be surprised that there is no mention of the WHO Code? Should we be surprised about some of the visual points on the timeline don't match with the narrative? The surprise is that breastfeeding organizations are financially involved with this company's foundation.
Copyright 2015 Valerie W. McClain
Kellogg and the National WIC Association, business partners
National WIC Association, voting member of US Breastfeeding Committee
Companies fighting GMO labeling and monies spent on stopping labeling