Saturday, November 7, 2015


"Denialism.  In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person's choice to deny reality, as a way to avoid a psychological uncomfortable truth."

Why do I read these articles on the internet?  Masochism?  Three cups of coffee and once again I am reading an article blasting breastfeeding advocacy.  The media barrage of articles is like watching the first few drops of rain outside turning into a waterfall that creates a mudslide of destruction.  The words these people use to write their hate-filled messages: "witches of breastmilk,"stepford nurses marching through maternity units chanting breast is best," "the breastapo,"  "autobots from La Leche League.The article aptly entitled, "Is this proof the witches of breast milk are wrong after all."  

This article was published in the UK by the Telegraph (11/5/15).  Supposedly this mud-slinging article is about a study the author found.  The author states, "A study of almost 200 children, by the University of Chicago, has found that breast may not be best when it comes to preventing allergies--one of the most commonly recited fairy tales."  We don't know the name of the study or where it was published because in the author's mind that information is not important.  We must have faith and trust that the author is correct in her analysis that this study is the truth regarding allergies and breastfeeding.  

In my mind this must be satire, the author and the publisher cannot possibly believe their libelous comments regarding breastfeeding advocacy.  How do we call this article journalism?  If we reversed this article and a breastfeeding mother wrote an article about the autobots of the infant formula industry or the warlocks of the infant formula industry or the stepford nurses marching through the maternity units chanting infant formula, would that kind of article get published?  Don't think so.  No media outlet would publish it

I think what we are currently witnessing is a media barrage of breastfeeding denialism.  This media madness is designed to create doubt about breastfeeding and create anger against breastfeeding promotion.  And its about creating fear among breastfeeding advocates regarding promoting breastfeeding.  It is a well-designed media campaign by the infant formula industryThe only real problem for the industry is that their US patents are public record.  What they say in their patents regarding human milk/breastfeeding would make any woman question her faith in infant formula as a comparable choice.

The author of this article states, "...those that were breastfed as babies were just as likely to have hayfever as those who were bottle fed.  Nor did rates of asthma, eczema and food allergies differ between the two groups."  So I really need someone to explain why the infant formula industry is patenting human milk components to prevent allergies.  Why do that, if there is no difference between those babies that are breastfed and those that are formula fed?

In a recent patent by the infant formula company, Nutricia is creating a composition of a bacterium, Bifidobacterium breve (obtained from breastfed babies' feces) to improve lung function in people suffering from dust mite allergy.

"The present composition comprises non-genetically modified Bifidobacterium breve. Bifidobacterium breve is a Gram-positive, anaerobic, branched rod-shaped bacterium. The present B. breve preferably has at least 95% identity of the 16 S rRNA sequence when compared to the type strain of B. breve ATCC 15700, more preferably at least 97% identity (Stackebrandt & Goebel, 1994, Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 44:846-849). Preferred B. breve strains are those isolated from the faeces of healthy human milk-fed infants. Typically, these are commercially available from producers of lactic acid bacteria, but they can also be directly isolated from faeces, identified, characterised and produced. According to a preferred embodiment, the present composition contains at least one B. breve selected from the group consisting of B. breve Bb-03 (Rhodia/Danisco), B. breve M-16V (Morinaga), B. breve R0070 (Institute Rosell, Lallemand), B. breve BR03 (Probiotical), B. breve BR92) (Cell Biotech), DSM 20091, LMG 11613, YIT4065, FERM BP-6223 and CNCM 1-2219. Most preferably, the B. breve is selected from the group consisting of B. breve M-16V and B. breve CNCM 1-2219. "
Patent #9119414 entitled, "Bifidobacterium for dust mite allergy,"
Owned by N.V. Nutricia-Netherlands

In an older patent in 1993, 

"In spite of the great efforts which have been invested in preparing infant formulae, it has not been possible to produce a formula which to any substantial extent has the advantageous properties of human milk. Thus, infant formula, often prepared on the basis of cow milk, is generally incompletely digested by the infant and is lacking substances known to have effect on the physiological functions of the infant. In order to obtain an infant formula with a nutritional value similar to human milk, a number of additives including protein fragments, vitamins, minerals etc., which are normally formed or taken up during the infant's digestion of human milk, are included in the formula with the consequent risk of posing an increased strain on and possible long-term damage of important organs such as liver and kidney. Another disadvantage associated with the use of cow milk-based formulae is the increased risk for inducing allergy in the infant against bovine proteins. "
Patent # 5739407 entitled, "Human .beta.-casein, process for producing it and use therof,"
Owned by Symbicom aktiebolag (Sweden) a division of AstraZeneca 

or a Nestle patent published in June of this year (2015)

"Food allergies are among the first allergens that infants encounter in their early life;  typically cow's milk proteins may be encountered by infants not receiving exclusive breast-feeding."
Patent #9049881 entitled, "Nutritional composition comprising lactococcus strains and reducing allergy symptoms, especially in infants and children,"
owned by Nestec (Nestle)   

The infant formula industry recognizes that the first allergen that an infant will encounter is to cow's milk, if they are not exclusively breastfed.  Some companies even recognize that damage is done to some infants.  Yet popular media stories continue to deny the damage and problems of infant formula and continue to create the illusion that breastfeeding is promoted by crazed witches or autobots.  It reminds me of the climate change deniers who are blind to the environmental degradation of the earth.  How long will breastfeeding deniers continue to muddy the waters of reality?  Meanwhile the infant formula industry through patenting is extolling the use of human milk components in their products.  But who reads patents? Instead we get treated to the comedy-hour of breastfeeding denialism. 
Copyright 2015 Valerie W. McClain  


No comments:

Post a Comment