Over the last week, breastfeeding has become a front-page issue. On Sunday, July 8 the New York Times published a story about the U.S. Government’s opposition to a World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution to encourage breastfeeding. This story sparked unprecedented media interest and a public outcry against the efforts of both the U.S. delegation and the infant formula industry to undermine global breastfeeding policy and public health.
Many leading maternal and child health organizations issued statements, including the American Public Health Association, the United States Breastfeeding Committee, and a joint statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
1,000 Days has long advocated for infant formula manufacturers to adopt more ethical and responsible marketing practices in compliance with the WHO Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes (also known as “The Code”) – and we continue to do so in light of the reports coming out of the World Health Assembly.
Our Executive Director, Lucy Sullivan, was interviewed on CNN’s HLN about the WHA breastfeeding resolution and the big business of infant formula. “You have to remember that the formula industry is a 70 billion dollar a year industry and it’s growing by leaps and bounds.”
Here are some of the other major media outlets covering this story:
- The Epic Battle Between Breast Milk and Infant-Formula Companies – The Atlantic
- Trump Administration Denies Threatening Ecuador Over A Breastfeeding Resolution – NPR
- The next frontier of Trump’s defense of baby formula – Vox
- Trump’s dangerous remarks about breastfeeding – The Washington Post
- Baby Formula Industry Has A Long History Of Undermining Breastfeeding Moms – The Huffington Post
Why It’s Important
Breastfeeding is proven to save lives and improve women and children’s health. By improving global rates of breastfeeding, over 800,000 babies’ lives could be saved worldwide every year. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies dying from SIDS, respiratory infections, diarrhea and other serious medical conditions. Additionally, breastfeeding has powerful health benefits for moms as it lowers a woman’s risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and heart disease.
But infant formula is BIG business. While formula is a necessity for many families—which is why the World Health Organization and we at 1,000 Days support the safe use of infant formula when needed—infant formula companies are working to undermine breastfeeding and weaken measures that protect parents and children from the misleading and unethical tactics they use to push their products.
We believe that no government should stand in the way of breastfeeding and no company should interfere with policies to protect the health of women and children.
What We’re Doing
Over the past week, 1,000 Days has spoken out strongly against efforts that seek to push private profit over public health.
- We issued a statement from our Executive Director, Lucy Sullivan on the U.S. opposition to the WHA Breastfeeding Resolution;
- We launched a petition to our grassroots supporters, calling on infant formula companies to stop unethical marketing practices; and
- We launched a sign-on letter for our partners directed to the six major infant formula manufacturers, calling on them to commit to more ethical marketing and business practices.
Here’s What You Can Do
Your voice matters. Sign our petition and tell infant formula companies to STOP putting their private profits before the health of moms and babies! Your signature will send a strong message that people around the world believe public health comes first. And by sharing this petition with family and friends, you can help us have even more of an impact.
Thank you for standing with us to ensure that moms and babies everywhere get the best start to life.