This has been on the news all week- sparked by New York Times article- excerpted below
Breast-Feed or Else
By Roni Rabin
The New York Times
Tuesday 13 June 2006
Warning: Public health officials have determined that not breast-feeding may be hazardous to your baby’s health.
There is no black-box label like that affixed to cans of infant formula or tucked into the corner of magazine advertisements, at least not yet. But that is the unambiguous message of a controversial government public health campaign encouraging new mothers to breast-feed for six months to protect their babies from colds, flu, ear infections, diarrhea and even obesity. In April, the World Health Organization, setting new international bench marks for children’s growth, for the first time referred to breast-feeding as the biological norm.
“Just like it’s risky to smoke during pregnancy, it’s risky not to breast-feed after,” said Suzanne Haynes, senior scientific adviser to the Office on Women’s Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. “The whole notion of talking about risk is new in this field, but it’s the only field of public health, except perhaps physical activity, where there is never talk about the risk.”
A two-year national breast-feeding awareness campaign that culminated this spring ran television announcements showing a pregnant woman clutching her belly as she was thrown off a mechanical bull during ladies’ night at a bar – and compared the behavior to failing to breast-feed.
“You wouldn’t take risks before your baby’s born,” the advertisement says. “Why start after?”
Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, has proposed requiring warning labels, on cans of infant formula and in advertisements, similar to the those on cigarettes. They would say that the Department of Health and Human services has determined that “breast-feeding is the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants” or that “breast milk is more beneficial to infants than infant formula.”
To read rest of article go here : http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/061306HB.shtml
To see what all the fuss is about- all the breastfeeding ads – print ads, radio ads and TV ads for breastfeeding promotion can be found here: National Ad Council Breastfeeding Ads