Danone Doesn’t Know Breast

Indonesia has a law that stipulates all babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.

The Indonesian Association of Breast-Feeding Mothers have expressed concerns that certain elements of the law might cause future problems.

Article 12 of the law says health care workers can accept assistance from baby formula companies in certain forms, including through funding, training, research and development.

But that could open the door for formula companies to market their products to health care workers and mothers, the association said.

It said this element of the law could lead to a conflict of interest for certain parties such as health care providers who are supposed to protect mothers and their children from exploitation by market interests.

Fifa started feeding her two-month old baby formula provided by her midwife (who was probably given a ‘gift’ by Danone. Or Nestlé.). Fifa now spends Rp.400,000 (about £26) a month, half her husband’s salary. The milk is necessarily diluted with water to make it go further.

The Indonesia market of baby milk formula is worth $1.1bn (£708m).

Danone – “keen to expand in Indonesia” – has brands specifically targetted at all levels of Indonesian society ….


Upper


Middle

Lower

Closing thoughts

1. Which company intended to fund the Daffodil Study?

This was a research project supposed to be conducted by a group of researchers from University of Indonesia’s medical school, aimed at finding which formula milk most closely resembled breast milk.

The study planned to use four-month-old babies as test subjects. Its title was “Effect in Using Formula Composed with Cow’s Milk Fat, Enriched with Mixed Fats & Added Fosfolipid on Duration & Infection in Babies’ Digestive and Respiratory System.”

A Change.org petition succeeded in preventing the research.

If countries are moving away from experimental research on live animals, and performances of topeng monyet (masked monkeys) are now outlawed in Jakarta, it is surely perverse to even think of experimenting on infants.

2. The city administration is drafting a bylaw on the provision of lactation rooms in office buildings and public places.

Jakarta Health Office head Dien Emmawati said that it is part of a campaign to increase the number of mothers giving their babies only breast milk for the first six months of their lives. Many mothers chose not to breast-feed because there were few places to do so comfortably in public.

2 Responses to “Danone Doesn’t Know Breast”

  1. I noticed that when I used to hang out in Vietnam a few years ago, supermarkets were packed with milk powder products, many of which came with free bowls, knives and forks, and other gimmicks. My Vietnamese girlfriend at the time used to love buying all that stuff (with my money!) for her nephew. I never thought too much of this, until reading your article (and the one on the Guardian which directed me here!)

  2. Jacob says:

    Thanks for all the information and your post on the Guardian. I couldn't believe how many people were posting from the Western world and "assuming" that poor people wouldn't do such and such, and that there must be something wrong with the reporting.
     
    I have lived in Palembang for 6 years, and I see one mother after another succumb to the lure of formula, and I have seen even doctors using the tap to clean the bottle to feed their own newborns. People just don't get that a drop of the water is bad. Everybody brushes with it. Kids swim in sewers. People get stomach ulcers as a matter of course.
     
    What I really couldn't get was the Westerners saying that there was no way that the poor would spend half their money on formula. Of course they would. And then how are they supposed to pay for the isi ulang water or boil their water for 20 minutes?
     
    Anyway, I am ranting. You did a much better job of sorting out the facts.

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