Thursday, March 08, 2007

International solidarity on International Women's Day

It is fitting that today I have received pictures from colleagues in the Philippines who demonstrated outside the offices of baby food transnational corporations in February.

Mothers who had been misled by idealising advertising joined the demonstration with their children. They had believed the claims that formula feeding would boost intelligence and were dismayed when their infants became sick to learn that formula is inferior to breastmilk.

How could they not know and how could health professionals let them do it? we are sometimes asked. Well, in the UK companies also aggressively market their products with health claims and 34% of mothers here believe that formula is the same or almost the same as breastfeeding, according to a Department of Health survey (see past blogs). We have been campaigning from since the 1995 law was introduced in the UK for more stringent regulation and enforcement. How much longer will we have to continue campaigning?

So we well understand the frustration of our colleagues in the Philippines as they see infants and mothers misinformed and suffering as a result.

Here are the pictures.

Giving up and calling it a day is not an option. One day mothers and infants in the Philippines, the UK and all other countries will be protected. We have succeeded in many countries and will succeed everywhere eventually. That is my message for today.

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