Saturday, April 08, 2006

The world sits idly by...

Just a question, or two:

Having recently heard Steve Lewis speak on the gender inequity that has allowed HIV to spread and become the horror it is, I can't help but consider a few other inequities in societal response...

Given that a problem with one Tylenol tablet can be broadcast around the world within days, why is the FDA announcing something so important to women and babies - the metal particles in commercial formula - more than 2 months after the recall began, and even longer since the problem was first detected?

How can we as a society tolerate more than 2 months of infant exposure to this sort of thing - the third major recall for contaminants this year, I believe - without reform and improved oversight of the commercial formula industry? How can it be that the CDC warnings about E Sakazakii still are not in the public domain, and certainly are not on the powdered formula container labels?

How can it possibly be that when I ask an audience of physicians and nurses to raise a hand if they believe canned powdered formula is sterile, nearly all raise their hands?

How can a mother, or her family, make an informed choice when all she hears about are "gentle loving proteins" and other misinformation?

And how can she ever succeed in breastfeeding against work pressures and illegality of feeding her baby in public? And unarmed with the skills to overcome the many other obstacles that will be placed in her way?

And how can funders continue to place the valuable research dollars into product development - e.g., trying to make cows produce a few of the components of human milk, trying to create a commercial food for months 6-24 - without supporting the, if you will, "complementary" breastfeeding necessary for proper health and development and immune function?

It is also my understanding that the excess use of formula caused by the misunderstandings related to transmission via breastfeeding have just resulted in another child mortality crisis in one country in southern Africa - I will look into it and post my findings...

And why is it that the fiscal input always seems to be targeted towards fixing the problems created by misuse of man's creations, rather that using the products that are available to us without harming the environment? Why are we putting our resources into packaging and ads rather than supporting optimal local feeding of every child?

Rhetorical, I know... Please excuse my little rant-burp. I will now continue to address these issues with the balance necessary for forward momentum, but sometimes one needs to just write it all down...

We have come so far, but we have so much further to go...

1 comment:

Rosha said...

Well said. If only more people desired to have such an eloquent rant-burp regarding this important subject.

The sad truth is that within the answers to your rhetorical questions lie only more questions: Why, with so much evidence against it, are women continually strapped onto a continuous fetal monitor during labor? And why, when a woman's mouth is parched and states "I would kill for a glass of water" is she still ordered to remain without by her doctors and nurses? Why is the baby usually whisked away from its mother directly after birth to be 'cleaned' when the 2 hours afterbirth are critical for bonding? I didn't know the baby was dirty. And the cycle continues.