Friday, February 28, 2003

Google Search: breastfeeding australia [This llink will take you to the lastest news on the breastfeeding in the House controversy in Australia. - JC]
Breastfeeding MP defends hiring mum - Breastfeeding MP defends hiring mum

Friday 28 February 2003, 20:30PM

The celebrity Victorian MP who caused a scandal when she breastfed her baby in parliament this week has been forced to defend hiring her mother in her electoral office.

Former aerial ski-jumping champion Kirstie Marshall said her mother, Anne Marshall, was being paid $270-a-week for working part-time in her Forest Hill electoral office.

But she insisted her mother was never paid taxpayers' money to look after 13-day-old Charlotte, whom Anne Marshall baby-sits when parliament is sitting.

"My mother is a part-time electoral officer and a full-time granny - that's the job description," Ms Marshall told reporters outside her Blackburn South home.

"Everything has been done strictly by the books - no laws have been broken."
Charlotte makes a meal of question time -

February 27 2003
By Darren Gray, Larissa Dubecki

Kirstie Marshall feeding baby Charlotte on the back bench as fellow Labor MP Karen Overington looks on. [ A picture is worth a thousand words - that's the adage. - JC]

Thursday, February 27, 2003 - Nestle Profits Rise 13 Percent in 2002
By Associated Press
February 27, 2003, 8:44 AM EST
"VEVEY, Switzerland -- Food and drinks giant Nestle said Thursday its profit rose 13 percent in 2002 on a 5.3 percent sales increase and said it would boost its dividend.

The owner of Stouffers prepared meals, Taster's Choice coffee, Perrier water and Carnation powdered milk earned 7.56 billion Swiss francs ($5.45 billion) last year, up from 6.68 billion francs a year earlier.

Sales rose to 89.16 billion Swiss francs ($64.3 billion) from 84.76 billion francs in 2001.

The profits were slightly below analysts' expectations and in early trading in Zurich, Nestle shares were down 1.5 percent at 264 francs ($195.6).

But the company said it would propose a dividend of 7 francs ($5.18), up from 6.40 francs last year.

Nestle said net profit was influenced by a number of onetime items, including the partial flotation of ophthalmic goods specialist Alcon and the sale to Givaudan of savory flavors business Food Ingredients Specialities. At the same time, the company incurred expenses relating to restructuring and to impairments of goodwill, plants and equipment."

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Tippling mum-to-be guilty as charged, by an over-zealous society -

February 25 2003

"Become pregnant, and suddenly you are obliged to be purer than the Virgin Mary, writes Sarah Macdonald." [Addresses how research and public health messaging is not in sync. - JC]

Putting the word "pregnant" and "drinking" together in a title is always bound to attract attention, comment and controversy. And great discomfort for some readers. Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding are bound to read on with fear in their hearts. Because the truth is the guilt in motherhood starts early.

Breastfeeding MP causes stir - Breastfeeding MP causes stir

February 26 2003
"Former Olympic skier Kirstie Marshall said she didn't know she couldn't breastfeed her baby in the Victorian parliament today, after being ushered out and missing her first question time. Ms Marshall, the member for the Melbourne suburban electorate of Forest Hill, was breastfeeding 11-day-old baby Charlotte in the Legislative Assembly prior to the ringing of the bells calling the house to order. She left the chamber after being approached by the Sergeant-at-Arms. Ms Marshall was absent throughout question time, the first of the new parliament which opened yesterday...."

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

icBirmingham - City 'hostile to breast feeding'
Feb 24 2003
By Sophie Blakemore, Birmingham Post
"A new report has called on Birmingham City Council and the NHS to provide more facilities and support to encourage mothers to breast-feed. The report, Children's Nutrition - Mothers Who Wish to Breast-Feed, calls for more support for mothers at home, in the workplace and facilities in public places. Rates of breast-feeding in Birmingham are ten to 20 per cent lower than the national average of 70 per cent - and the review has suggested that if breast-feeding rates across the city were increased to 90 per cent, as in some Scandinavian countries, more than 250 hospital admissions of children under the age of four could be avoided each year." [If you can send me the URL for this report, or a copy, please email me at 0 JC]
Milk maker denies WHO code breach
South China Morning Post
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

"Baby milk maker Wyeth (HK) defended itself yesterday against claims it had breached international rules by running TV adverts suggesting its formula milk helped make children smarter and healthier. The South China Morning Post reported yesterday how the company had been accused of breaching a World Health Organisation (WHO) code by breast-milk advocate Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association. The association said that the nutrient value of "Promil Gold" had been exaggerated in an advert aired on TVB Jade. It had been suggested that drinking the product would make babies smart and healthy. The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes by the WHO says there should be no advertising on breast-milk substitutes and the use of images of babies on products should be banned. Wyeth medical affairs manager Sandra Lui Siu-hung said the advertisement concentrated on another milk product targeting children aged three to seven, and only showed one frame of "Promil Gold" along with other products."
BBC NEWS | Health | Safe birth hope for refugees
Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 10:20 GMT
By Caroline Ryan
BBC News Online health staff
[Feature on Armenian refugees flooding into Azerbaijan and a program to help provide safer birth and breastfeeding information by UK charity HealthProm. Of note, the program is funded thus: "The three year programme, run by HealthProm, which carries out work across the former Soviet Union, and funded by GlaxoSmithKline is part of a national reproductive health strategy developed in conjunction with the Azerbaijan government. GSK now plans to put £220,000 into the "Safe Childbirth" initiative." - JC]

Monday, February 24, 2003

Beacon Journal | 02/22/2003 | Police field complaint about busty snow woman
Posted on Sat, Feb. 22, 2003 story
Akron Beacon Journal
"KENT, Ohio - Crystal Lynn went for realism when she built her snow woman - celery for the eyes, a carrot for the nose and two blobs of snow for the breasts. The last turned out to be a no-no, as someone complained to Kent police about what he called an indecent snow figure. And a police officer showed up at her apartment door minutes after she completed her work. "He said that I should cut off her breasts, but I said no woman wants that," Lynn, 35, said. She didn't want to knock down the snow woman. And the figure was too busty to be covered by a shirt. So Lynn opted to drape a ruffled maroon tablecloth around her shoulders." [ She should have latched on snow babies... - JC]

Breast milk banks becoming a thing of the past

By Jennifer Tryon, CTV News Food Specialist

"Nature's perfect food may have a flaw after all: There's not enough of it. Human breast milk is in high demand.

Every three weeks, two Fedex boxes full of food for eight-month-old Tai'o Clifford arrives at his family's home in Toronto. Dozens of little glass jars filled with a yellowish substance are packed with dry ice. The meals for a month don't come cheap.

"It probably costs in the neighbourhood of about $700 Cdn a week to feed him breast milk," says the baby's father, Ian Clifford.

"It's not cheap at all. It's the best possible food for a baby and we really hoped that it would be more available in Canada for the people who need it."

Canada has one human milk bank, located at B.C. Women's Hospital. The milk is available for sick and premature babies, and sometimes to parents who adopt. The milk bank relies on donations from mothers with too much milk or who are willing to pump." [Let's hope this news item can be a springboard for action - JC]

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Writers force Nestlé to scrap teenage book award

The independent
By James Morrison, Arts and Media Correspondent
23 February 2003

"Nestlé, the controversial Swiss-based multinational, has been forced to scrap plans to sponsor a new teenage book prize after a group of Britain's foremost children's writers told the company that they never want to be entered for the award. Gillian Cross, the author of The Demon Headmaster, and Carnegie Medal winners Melvin Burgess and Tim Bowler are among seven leading writers who have signed a letter stating that they "do not wish to be associated" with Nestlé's prize "in any way". The strongly worded letter, composed by Mr Burgess, accuses Nestlé of continuing to "violate" codes on the marketing of powdered baby milk in the Third World ­ an issue that has seen Nestlé's products targeted by a decades-long international boycott. The latest protest has been backed by Philippa Pearce, the author of Tom's Midnight Garden, and the Whitbread Prize-winner Philip Pullman, who said he was minded to tell his publisher not to enter him for the award. He said: "When I next have a book out in two or three years' time and the publishers suggest it's put forward for this prize, I'll probably say 'No, I'd rather you didn't'.""
Pregnant women keep on drinking
By Julie Robotham, Medical Writer
February 24 2003

"More than half of Australian women drink alcohol while they are pregnant or breastfeeding, and a quarter smoke, according to the first national survey on drug use during pregnancy. While almost all of those who drank said they reduced their consumption compared with their non-pregnant intake, Australian women were still more than three times as likely as those in the United States to drink at all while pregnant. Just over a third of the 83 per cent of women who usually drank alcohol gave it up completely, leaving 53 per cent taking at least an occasional drink - compared with 15 per cent in the US." [This article doesn't break down the number of mothers who drank while pregnant vs breastfeeding - unfortunate. If we are going to ask mothers to nurse their babies for a minimum of 2 years, we're asking them to give up drinking for almost 3 years, which is a long time for a social drinker who doesn't have an alcohol problem. Is this based on evidence? - JC]

Saturday, February 22, 2003

UB Reporter: Gender-related behavior
University at Buffalo Reporter
Study finds exposure to certain toxins can affect behavior
Contributing Editor

"Women's exposure to environmental contaminants that mimic the activity of human sex hormones during prenatal development can affect the masculinity and femininity of their offspring, UB researchers have found. However, the results seem to point to a shared influence of the parents' own gender-related behavior and exposure to the contaminants, which can act as "endocrine disrupters," according to David E. Sandberg, associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, and lead author on the research. The study appeared Friday in the journal Epidemiology. It supports the findings of an October study done in the Netherlands, which was the first to show a relationship between exposure to hormonally active agents in the environment and children's gender-role behavior. The UB study reports on gender behavior of boys and girls born to male and female anglers and their spouses who eat contaminated sport fish from the Great Lakes. Their findings show that in boys, the more fish the mother consumed, the more typically masculine the boy's behavior. Girls with one or more older siblings also showed more masculine behavior. In an interesting twist, results showed that girls who were breastfed longer showed more typically feminine behavior." [The article goes onto conclude that the researchers don't believe contaminants in breast milk have an impact, that only prenatal development is disrupted, and also that how the children were nurtured appears to impact their gender-related behaviour: "We speculate that mothers who breastfed are likely to be more traditional in their gender-role behaviour than women who don't, and that their daughters' behaviours reflect this." - JC]
Natural-born mother

February 22 2003

"She has written numerous books on childbirth and female sexuality, but women are sharply divided about Sheila Kitzinger's thoughts on medical intervention, writes Karen Kissane. A woman at Sydney Airport heard that Sheila Kitzinger, the high priestess of the natural childbirth movement, was expected any moment. "I know her books," the woman said. "Tell her she's a liar. She says you can push them out so easy; it's not like that at all." What does Kitzinger say to women who are wheeled out of labour wards wanting to burn her book - or her? "They've got to be angry with somebody, and I suppose I'm as good ... as anyone," she says with unruffled British calm. "Women who've had distressing experiences in childbirth ... feel they've been cheated, and that ... it must be the women who write books about childbirth who cheated them. But of course it isn't, because we know that birth can be beautiful and exultant."" [Until I read this article I had no idea that women were "sharply divided" about Sheila Kitzinger. I find this "blame the messenger" attitude profoundly disturbing - that we could be so removed from what is normal in labour we would lash out out at people like Kinzinger for "lying" to us. - JC]

Friday, February 21, 2003

News in Science 21/2/2003 Leptin firms as a pathway for obesity drugs
Friday, 21 February 2003

"he appetite hormone leptin is one step closer to becoming a therapeutic target for obesity following an American study which has isolated its pathway in the brain.

For the first time, the study by Dr Martin Myers and colleagues at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston distinguished between leptin's reproductive and its hunger-suppressing functions.......
An odd development was that the modified obese mice could have babies - but they couldn't feed them, as they did not produce breast milk. Unless the babies were put onto a unmodified mother's breast, their babies died. "That was really interesting as well," said Morris. "It looks like STAT3 is needed for lactation, but not for reproduction.""
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Miranda, my hero

"Miranda, God love her, has spent whole minutes of screen time clad in a zip-up maternity bra with veiny, pendulous, milk-filled breasts visibly throbbing. (It was a huge shock when the actress Cynthia Nixon revealed that those breasts were prosthetic. They looked so real!) That scene proved truly shocking to some viewers: breastfeeding, a rare televisual event in itself, is usually conducted beneath immaculate silk shirts obscured by tasteful and strategically placed furnishings. But as Miranda struggled to connect baby with milk, her physical frustration was matched by the fear that she was no longer herself. "I can't follow your thoughts," she wailed to Carrie, who sat horrified in front of her." [An excellent essay on how Miranda, the single mom character on Sex and the City, presents a realistic and somewhat horrifying portrayal of motherhood. - JC]
Keeping abreast of the times
By Charlotte Halle
Ha'aretz English Edition

"Esther Grunis likes to recall the time she was thrown out of a well-baby clinic in Jaffa about 10 years ago and told never to set foot in a Health Ministry clinic again - as if she were a member of some "breastfeeding cult." Now Grunis, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) qualified, and one of Israel's most experienced lactation consultants, can laugh at the story because she is the main lecturer on breastfeeding for staff at the well-baby clinics across the country, which are known locally as `Tipot Halav.' She is employed part-time at Lis Maternity Hospital in Tel Aviv Medical Center (formerly Ichilov) and in addition to training staff, she runs workshops on breastfeeding for pregnant couples, new mothers going back to work, moving from breast milk to solids and - her own creation - a course which grandmothers and other carers can join. She also runs one of the hospital's expert Internet forums. It's not bad progress in just a decade."

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

10 On Your Side Finds Stores Selling Expired Infant Formula, News, 20/2/2003
"You expect the baby formula you buy for your infants to be nutritious and fresh. In fact, federal law requires an expiration date be put on every can to ensure your baby is getting the full nutritional value. But as 10 On Your Side found, there are some stores in Hampton Roads selling formula that's been on the shelves long past their posted expiration date."
Implants no bar to breastfeeding: study
Pamela Fayerman
Vancouver Sun
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
"Women who enlarge their breasts with implants do not have less success breastfeeding their babies than women without implants, the preliminary findings of a University of B.C. study suggest.

Dr. Paul Oxley, in an attempt to ''clear up some of the confusion and to learn about the true effect of breastfeeding after augmentation surgery,'' began enrolling women with implants last year...

His study co-authors were plastic surgeons Patricia Clugston and Richard Warren. The division of plastic surgery at UBC sponsored the study.

Although they have yet to complete a full analysis, Oxley is confident the data show implants, of all types and insertion techniques, don't interfere with breastfeeding attempts.

So far, Oxley said, the data on 60 women with implants show that 72 per cent were able to breastfeed their babies, without supplemental formula, for at least two months.

While there wasn't a case control comparison group of women without implants, Oxley said previous studies in the medical literature of women who have not had their breasts enlarged show a similar percentage breastfeeds successfully and exclusively for the first few months.

Only six per cent of the women in the current study who tried to breastfeed could not. ''We assume that they wouldn't have been able to breastfeed anyway, regardless of the implants,'' Oxley said. Women in the study were 18 to 32 years of age when they got their implants and within the same age range when they had children...."
The Australian: Mums-to-be still light up
By Jen Kelly
February 20, 2003
"MOST women who smoke don't quit the lethal habit while pregnant, risking permanent damage or death to their unborn children. In the wake of alarming new figures, Australian health experts warn pregnant and breastfeeding smokers are seriously endangering the lives of their babies.
Large warnings on cigarette packets saying "Smoking when pregnant harms your baby" have failed to convince most expectant mums to quit. Researchers from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found while 26 per cent of all women smoked, the figure barely dropped among women who were pregnant or breastfeeding. "It shows 23 per cent of women smoked while they were pregnant," researcher Mark Cooper-Stanbury said." [This article doesn't differentiate between the risks of smoking while pregnant and smoking while breastfeeding. Nor does it address the risk to the baby of the mother continuing to smoke and switching to formula. This lack of differentiation also happens when we talk about alcohol and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. - JC]

"There wasn't much change in smoking behaviour for those women who were smoking while they were pregnant or breast-feeding."

Monday, February 17, 2003

BUSINESS NEWS | - MB.COM.PH 02/16/2003
Mead Johnson to relocate infant milk production here
By Bernie Cahiles-magkilat
"Mead Johnson Nutritionals, the world’s leader in infant nutrition, will relocate here its infant formula and children’s milk production from Indonesia, making the Philippines its biggest manufacturing operation in Asia after China.

This was revealed by MeadJohnson Phils. president and general manager Peter Kasper Jakobsen in an interview with the Business Bulletin.

"We have significant investments here and we have a long term interest in building our capabilities in the Philippines. The Philippines has the potential," Jacobsen said.

As the Mead Johnson plant in Indonesia is downsized, two-thirds of Indonesia's production will be transferred here, increasing the Philippine manufacturing capacity by 30 percent. Indonesia will be served by exports from the Philippines."
BUSINESS NEWS | - MB.COM.PH 02/16/2003
Mead Johnson to relocate infant milk production here
By Bernie Cahiles-magkilat
"Mead Johnson Nutritionals, the world’s leader in infant nutrition, will relocate here its infant formula and children’s milk production from Indonesia, making the Philippines its biggest manufacturing operation in Asia after China.

This was revealed by MeadJohnson Phils. president and general manager Peter Kasper Jakobsen in an interview with the Business Bulletin.

"We have significant investments here and we have a long term interest in building our capabilities in the Philippines. The Philippines has the potential," Jacobsen said.

As the Mead Johnson plant in Indonesia is downsized, two-thirds of Indonesia's production will be transferred here, increasing the Philippine manufacturing capacity by 30 percent. Indonesia will be served by exports from the Philippines."
Picking a Baby Formula Picking a Baby Formula
2/17/2003 5:25 AM
"If you want to feed your baby formula instead of breast milk, there are some things you need to consider to make sure your bundle of joy is getting what they need. With newborn twin boys, Kim Dirnbeck, 32, has her hands full. So when it comes to feeding Gabriel and Cole, she has no apprehensions about using formula. "With nursing, it's difficult because you have to feed more often and having two infants to feed it would be very time consuming and mentally draining on me, ,” Kim said.

But with all the options out there, how do you know which formula is right for your baby?

"Since probably around 1970, there's been a plentiful number of safe formulas that are covered under federal regulation that include all of the things that a baby needs to grow and develop normally,” said Dr. Leo Heitlinger. They include the traditional cow's milk and soy formula, as well as formulas for babies with special health needs, such as allergies. But as far as brands go, Dr. Heitlinger says they're all pretty much the same." [This article sets up a breastfeeding failure (twins, who could possibly breastfeed twins) and then goes on to provide misinformation about formula (Dr. says soy, others are all the same) and concludes without any warnings even about being careful to mix properly, use clean water, sterilize, etc. Sheesh. - JC]
Fears over tuna health risk to babies
Monday, 17 February, 2003, 13:21 GMT
BBC News

"Pregnant women and mothers who breastfeed have been advised to limit their consumption of tuna fish. The UK Food Standards Agency is concerned that mercury found in the fish could pose a health hazard."

Sunday, February 16, 2003 - High cholesterol? Head for Aisle 3

[This Toronto Star article suggests in a dozen years or so we could enter supermarkets and have individual food products "prescribed" to treat health problems. The whole thing makes me want to run screaming the othe rway to the farmer's market. There's a brief reference to DHA in infant formula in this article. - JC]

" Health Canada allows nutrients to be added to 27 other products; for example, vitamin C in fruit drinks and dried potatoes, and the eggs with an Omega-3 boost. A new infant formula incorporates a plant chemical called DHA, found in breast milk and considered vital to development of the brain and eyes. But while these might be considered functional foods, they can't make health claims; their labels can't state what the added ingredients are supposed to do.

On the other hand, not all enriched foods are functional foods. Some are refined to nothing but empty calories and packed with sugar, fat or salt.

Health claims are the industry's Holy Grail. They're what make a product burst on to the scene, says Clough. "When a company can say `oats help to reduce cholesterol,' the gun goes off."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pushed by court rulings and strong industry lobbying, has approved 14 claims, including some specific to certain products...."

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Martek licenses oils to overseas baby food maker
2003-02-12 - Baltimore Business Journal
"A Spanish baby-food maker signed a license agreement with Columbia-based Martek Biosciences Corp. Laboratorios Ordesa gets the right to use Martek's technology for including fatty acids in infant formula. Martek will receive an unspecified cash payment and royalties from the sale of Laboratorios Ordesa's products in Spain and Italy. The Barcelona, Spain-based firm makes infant formula and baby foods. Martek develops nutritional supplements and oils for use in infant formulas."
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation Announces $3 Million in HIV/AIDS Research Grants
Wed Feb 12 14:30:34 2003 Pacific Time
BOSTON, Feb. 12 (AScribe Newswire)
"At a special ceremony held in conjunction with the 12th Conference for Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections today, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation announced more than $3 million in new grants for its HIV/AIDS research programs. The Foundation presented two of the most promising HIV/AIDS scientists - Dr. Paul Bieniasz and Dr. Grace John-Stewart - with its highest award, the Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award. The Award provides $700,000 for five years of research dedicated to the treatment and prevention of pediatric HIV/AIDS. The Foundation also announced new funding to support eight Basic Research Grants and three Scholar Awards, including studies focused on preventing mother-to-child transmission, a unique project aimed at preventing breastmilk transmission, and a novel drug discovery project, among others....Dr. Grace John-Stewart is an associate professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. Through her Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award she will evaluate viral and immune responses to antiretroviral regimens in breastfeeding HIV positive mothers and their infants to increase our understanding of how these regimens may decrease breastmilk transmission of HIV..."
Concerns about soya in pregnancy,
"An animal study has raised concerns about the safety of eating soya during pregnancy after male offspring of rats fed a chemical found in soya suffered sexual development problems. Male rats exposed to the chemical, called genistein, while still in the womb and later through breastfeeding developed large prostate glands and small testes and were unable to mate. Although the finding does not prove genistein is harmful to humans, scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland who conducted the research are calling for more studies...."
Drug-Resistant HIV Passed Through Breast Milk
Wed Feb 12, 5:32 PM ET
By Deborah Mitchell
BOSTON (Reuters Health)
"HIV-infected women given a single dose of the anti-AIDS drug nevirapine during labor to prevent them from transmitting the virus to their baby harbor HIV in their breast milk that is resistant to the drug, according to the results of a small clinical trial...."

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Yahoo! News - Often, mama does know best
Wed Feb 12, 8:48 AM ET
Robin Marantz Henig

"When I was pregnant, I was told that the more weight I gained, the better it was for the fetus. I added 45 pounds in the first six months, then stopped counting. But when my mother was pregnant with me, her doctor nagged her constantly not to gain more than 25 pounds; a bigger weight gain would make her baby bigger and harder to deliver, he told her, and would make it harder to get back her pre-pregnancy figure...."
[ This columnist talks about a range of parenting practices that change with the times, including formula feeding vs breastfeeding. Her advice, to ignore what you don't like, is simplistic. - JC]
News 14 Carolina | 24 Hour Local News | HEADLINES | Nutrition facts...Breastfeeding benefits
"New research shows breastfeeding helps protect against osteoporosis and breast cancer. "Even breastfeeding just a couple of children, by breastfeeding them for an additional six months or 12 months, women can reduce their risk of breast cancer probably on the order of 5 to 10 percent.""
[I love the cavalier attitude, "...just a couple of children..." - JC]

Herald Sun: Rethink on club's breast ban [13feb03]
"By TANYA GILES and PAULA BEAUCHAMP, 13feb03 -- A BAN on breastfeeding in the Melbourne Racing Club's committee rooms may be reconsidered. The MRC has written to Attorney-General Rob Hulls after he asked for an explanation of their possible breach of equal-opportunity laws. The club said in the letter the matters raised by Mr Hulls would be considered at a committee meeting this month. Mr Hulls wrote to the MRC after Glen Eira mayor Peter Goudge was told his 12-week-old daughter was not welcome in the club's committee rooms...." [I note the issue is moving now to that of an underage child. Smells like a cop-out - if it's a private club I'll bet they have lots of lattitude about the age of children allowed on their premises. Even our stuffy yacht club made an exception in the dining room and allowed me to bring in our babies to breastfeed. - JC]

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Sale of breast milk banned
"Beijing - China's ministry of health has banned the sale of human breast milk after a public outcry over revelations that a restaurant was serving dishes cooked with milk farmed from mothers living in rural areas, state media reported on Monday."
Newzcentral: Head to Toe: Early dental care is key to child's overall health "Many people are unaware of the important role early dental care plays in children's overall health. Parents need to take action early to insure the health of their children's teeth because attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life." [This article goes on to list the hazards of feeing juice in a bottle and confuses breastfeeding and bottle feeding with suggestions to not breastfeed for an extended period, and a statement about encourging drinking from a cup after one year. Argh. - JC]

Regular dental check-ups should begin within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, and no later than the child's first birthday. Preventive care such as cleanings and fluoride treatment provide children with "smile" insurance. Routine dental exams uncover problems that can be treated in the early stages, when damage is minimal and restorations may be small.

Fluoride is considered one of the most effective elements for preventing tooth decay. Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities by up to 50 percent in children. Therefore, water fluoridation is present in many cities. If city water does not contain fluoride, dentists can recommend various ways for your child to get it including:

Gluten reaction more common Gluten reaction more common
Ailment affects 1 in 133, one survey estimates
By David Brown
Feb. 11, 2003

[Yet another autoimmune disease on the rise. Breastfeeding is not mentioned in this article. - JC]

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Breast milk is best bet for baby
"With this issue, Dr. Roxanne M. Allegretti begins a monthly column for Healthy Living.
I FIRST CAME to Fredericksburg with my family on a house-hunting trip in 2000, when my oldest daughter was 10 months old. We were preparing to move from California, because of my husband's transfer to Quantico.

Being a long-time California resident, I was already a bit nervous about how my attitudes and beliefs might fit in here. One night, while eating a delicious dinner at the Riverview in downtown Fredericksburg, my daughter needed to nurse a bit. I felt we accomplished it discreetly, but a woman at the next table stood up and said, "That's disgusting. That baby has teeth."

None of the great comebacks that I thought of later came to me at that moment. I was dumbstruck that someone would criticize me for feeding my baby the best food there is, and for doing what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for all infants. Now, I'm nursing my second baby, and I still find it interesting how people react to this most natural act." [This is the first of a series of columns on health by a pediatrician and it's terrific that she chose to talk about breastfeeding. As is often the case, the articlecould benefit from language that warns of the harm from not breastfeeding. I've forwarded her a copy of Diane Weissinger's Watch Your Language from the Journal of Human Lactation, Volume 12, Number 1, 1996. - JC]

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Move to curb soy formula milk sales
James Meikle, health correspondent
Saturday February 8, 2003
The Guardian
"The safety of soya-based infant formula milk has been called into question by the government's scientific advisers, in a move that could result in it being available only on prescription.

They fear children's sexual development and fertility as adults might be affected if they take the products during their first few months of life.

Parents of about one in 50 babies who are not breast fed give their offspring the soy formula, and removing it from general sale would leave vegan mothers and others who wish to avoid cow's milk with no alternative.

The advisers say there is "clear evidence" of potential risk from using the products and no evidence that the products confer any health benefit. There is no medical need for it either, they say, since other therapies could be prescribed for infants allergic to cow's milk protein.

Members of the scientific advisory committee on nutrition believe studies suggesting harmful effects on the sexual development of marmosets, and "extreme discomfort" in menstruation for women who had been fed soy formula years before, are cause for "significant concern".

The use of the soy formula is already officially discouraged by the government, and breast milk is regarded as giving far better nourishment than formula milk. But the latest warnings about safety go much further than previous ones...."
Resolution encourages breast feeding
By ROBERT W. BLACK Associated Press
Hilltop Nationla Bank
Feb 08, 2003
"CHEYENNE -- A Senate committee on Friday endorsed a resolution recognizing the value of breast-feeding and encouraging "an important and basic act of nurture." House Joint Resolution 5 had earlier been passed 57-3 by the House." [I'm not sure what the resolution is going to accomplish, but it can't be a bad thing. i note some fo the testimony, reported thus: "
Michelle Swanson, a nursing mother from Cheyenne, spoke of her struggles visiting her father at the Wyoming State Penitentiary and the limitations placed on her in the visiting room.

On two visits she had to retire to the restroom to nurse her son, she said.

"There shouldn't be any reason that I would have to nurse my baby on the toilet seat," she said, calling it humiliating. Although prison staff have been more accommodating recently, she still has been treated "rudely and they were very reluctant to let me into another room." Glenda Skaggs, manager of maternal services at United Medical Center in Cheyenne, spoke of the problems she encountered after asking to put a breast-feeding educational video on the hospital's internal TV system. She was initially told that "it would be like pornography," before eventually being given permission." - JC]
Herald Sun: Baby suffocates during breast feed [09feb03],
"A distraught mother has warned of the danger of falling asleep while breastfeeding after she accidentally suffocated her baby. Caroline Fuller, 22, dozed off while giving five-week-old Dylan an evening feed on the sofa, and awoke to find him lifeless in her arms. She could not revive him, and rushed him to hospital, where he later died. The tragedy happened last September, but only now has the mother of three felt able to talk publicly about her son's death. She said she only fell asleep while breastfeeding because she had been told by health visitors that it was normal and safe to do so. "I blame myself because I should have done what I thought was best, added Miss Fullerr. She said she had dozed off with Dylan, and when she woke up he was cold and blue. "I am sure that if I had not fallen asleep on the sofa, my son would be alive today." [This is a very brief news report and it's hard to say what message thsi woman is deliverying. Is she saying she wasn't given infromation about safe co-sleeping (sleeping with baby on a sofa or chair isn't considered safe)? The death of a baby is a terrible tragedy. - JC]

NURSING IN PUBLIC: Law's on mothers' side, but critics say there is too much exposure
February 4, 2003
"Molly Bascom-Keller sat inside the Summit Place Mall's new primary-colored play structure, discreetly nursing her baby while her older children romped in the ball pit.
The 31-year-old Oak Park mother watched as a mall employee crawled on hands and knees through the kid-size tunnel toward her. Bascom-Keller sat stunned as the woman began screaming for her to stop breast-feeding, accusing her of offending other customers. "I was shocked when it happened and I went home in tears," said Bascom-Keller, who also said she had been badgered for breast-feeding at the Detroit Zoo, museums and restaurants. Kim Tyree, manager of the Waterford mall's play area, said it was an issue of sanitation, noting that mall policy prohibits food and beverages in the play area. And breast milk, Tyree said, is food."

Friday, February 07, 2003

Baby taken from mother

Friday, February 7, 2003,
By Steven Hepker,
Staff Writer,

" Tesha Redman was born in Foote Hospital at 5:57 p.m. Tuesday, shortly after her mother appeared on the "Dr. Phil" show in a segment on fat children. State social workers seized the 6-pound, 13-ounce girl Wednesday night on an order from Probate Judge Susan Vandercook. "It was based on the fact Miss Redman has not made sufficient progress," Vandercook responded Thursday to objections from Amanda Redman's lawyer, Richard Hitt. Tesha is the second child Vandercook has taken from Redman and placed in foster care. Jerad Ostrander, born when Redman was 16, weighed 120 pounds at 3 years. Social workers said the boy was dangerously obese and that Amanda used food as a parenting tool. She was cited for abuse and neglect, and Jerad was placed in foster care in October 2001. Redman is allowed limited, supervised visits with Jerad, who weighs about 50 pounds now. The infant, who is healthy, was placed in the same foster home....
"It is fundamentally unfair to deprive her of her newborn child," Hitt said, pleading for the court to return the infant at least until the hearing. Hitt said that if Jerad was taken because his weight was dangerous, the danger has long passed, and there is no danger of overfeeding a newborn. Redman said she wanted to nurse her baby, but was not allowed.... [I find this story disturbing on so many levels... - JC]
County Searches for Clues to Breast Cancer Rates
Run Date: 02/07/03,
By Rebecca Vesely,
WEnews correspondent,
" TIBURON, Calif. (WOMENSENEWS)--On a sunny Saturday morning, more than 2,000 volunteers fanned out over the affluent suburbs north of San Francisco to conduct a door-to-door search for clues to the mystery plaguing this community: Why are so many women here getting breast cancer? Marin County has a breast cancer rate nearly 40 percent higher than the national average. Breast cancer diagnoses in Marin climbed 37 percent over the past decade, compared to just 3 percent in other urban California counties....
"I just don't believe that the high rate of incidence of breast cancer is due to later childbearing," says Marcia Rubenstein, who lives in Tiburon. "It's got to be something environmental. Maybe it's toxins leached in the soil."...
So far, researchers have not found a smoking gun linking environmental factors to cancer in the area. Two state senators plan to introduce legislation early next year that would fund a pilot program to monitor breast milk for chemical contaminants--the first of its kind in the nation. The hope is that breast milk could provide some clues as to whether pesticides, detergents, plastics or other chemical products are contributing to breast cancer." [It concerns me that people reject research which indicates delaying childbirth as a risk factor for breast cancer. Will they reject research showing environmental contaminants in breast milk? Will women breastfeed if they hear about chemicals in their breastmilk? It will be very important to communicate relative risk vis a vis infant formula. - JC]
Mmegi Online ::> BHP studies look beyond the HORIZON, ERNEST MOLOI, 2/7/2003 11:02:25 AM (GMT 2)
"BOTSWANA is poised to start clinical trials for a preventive AIDS vaccine in the first quarter of this year. The task - a grand design under the aegis of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) - is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of America. The trials will be carried out in the United States and Botswana The vaccine to be tested in Botswana was not developed by researchers at the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP). But much of the continuing work of BHP researchers studying the HIV-1C viruses, which is prevalent in Botswana; and the immune response genetics of the population, has and will continue to contribute to scientists developing HIV vaccines in the country and the world....The BHP laboratory is one of the most sophisticated facilities in Africa dedicated to HIV treatment and research. Other completed studies include 'Genetic Analysis of HIV-1C in infants', which offers a better understanding of how HIV is passed from mother to infant. By this study, viruses from HIV infected infants is compared to those from blood samples, breast milk and 'cervico-vaginal fluid' from their mothers. The viruses from different sources are then analyzed for 'replication potential and gene sequence.' In the study, researchers hope to identify the signature patterns that indicate the route of transmission of HIV from mother to child. The information will be used to develop interventions that can improve the prevention of mother to child transmission. Yet another ongoing study on the PMTCT, known as the Mashi Study (Milk) started early 2001. It is investigating the possibility of adding a second anti-retroviral drug, nevirapine- to the current national program, which offers zinovudine (AZT) to HIV-infected pregnant women. Alongside the study, the BHP through the financial help of the US-based National Institute of Health (NIH)- is running an Infant Health Outcomes Study to investigate the "effects of infant feeding patterns on the health and vigour of infants." Through the study, researchers are monitoring the "rates, etiologies and outcomes of diarrheal and respiratory diseases and bloodstream infections among infants born to HIV positive mothers, who breast feed or formula feed, and the association between infant outcomes and the immunologic factors in breast milk."
Lawmakers discuss breastfeeding
WTHR Indianapolis, Lynda Moore/Health Reporter, Indianapolis, Feb. 6, 2003
"A public breastfeeding at a public hearing. The mother chose a legislative hearing room to make her point. But did she violate the law? A new bill would make sure she didn't. House Bill 1510 would allow all women the right to breastfeed their babies in public, anywhere a woman has a right to be.
Susan Para wished that was law a few years ago when she was refused service at a mall photo shop. "I was told they would not be taking my pictures because I breastfed my kid and they refused to reschedule an appointment for me."" [Imagine breastfeeding your newborn while sitting in a legislature hearing room, waiting to testify about your right to breastfeed in public. I hope this woman felt proud and not cowed. According to this article on the same issue, "Currently, women who breast-feed in public in Indiana can be charged with public indecency, a Class A misdemeanor publishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. In some cases, it can be a Class D felony, which carries a standard sentence of 18 months in jail and up to a $10,000 fine." - JC]

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Ananova - Artist plans to serve food made from urine and breast milk "A German artist is planning to serve diners meals made from urine and human breast milk.

Conceptual artist Karl-Friedrich Lentze has applied for a permission to serve soups enriched with urine and cakes made of breast milk in a restaurant in the town of Euskirchen." [Ugh. What bugs me the most about this is the association between urine and breast milk - what is he trying to say, that ingesting breastmilk is as disgusting as urine? Or that urine is healthy and natural. It doesn't work for me. - JC]
The Two baby deaths reportedThe Courier Mail reports a possible murder of a 10 month old, and then says:

" In a separate incident, detectives are investigating the death of a one-month-old baby boy at a New Farm house in Brisbane's inner-city at 3am yesterday.

Police said it appeared the mother may have accidentally suffocated the child after she fell asleep while breastfeeding.

Police said the death was not suspicious but investigations were continuing."

[ What a tragedy. It seems more and more we are getting these reports of babies suffocated in their parent's beds, and we see admonishments about not sleeping with baby. This story makes it clear - "fell asleep while breastfeeding." We need to work hard on this issue. We need to work for accurate news reports. One thing we can do is to present the numbers of co-sleeping families and then get news outlets to do reports on safe co-sleeping. This will sensitize journalists to the realities and help them look for co-factors when reporting these deaths. - JC]


Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Lebanese winter dishes ­ the perfect recipe to fight the cold
[This article about Lebanese winter dishes includes a reference to "the famous aynar drink made of herbs and spices, the essence of carnation, and loose tea leaves. “Aynar is very healthy and is usually used to fight colds and coughs,” Maya Khoury, a 30-year-old dietitian, explains. “And if a mother is breast-feeding her child, drinking aynar helps her increase her milk.”” [Hmm, colds and coughts, I wonder if Aynar contains fenugreek? - JC]]

icCheshireOnline - Mothers' gifts of life Cheshireonline,
Feb 4 2003,

By David Charters, Daily Post Staff,

"IN THE touch of their tiny hands and their wide smiles the 'Billy Boys' today offer a picture of hope, love and faith.

But the moving story of the twins, James and Curtis, could not have been told if it had not been for the expertise and dedica-tion of staff at the Special Care Baby Unit at Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral.

And now their parents, Elisé and Mark Billy, are thanking them by raising money to provide the unit with a bank of mothers' milk, often vital to the survival of premature babies...." [Every hospital should have a human milk bank. - JC]
Kentucky site likely for Martek expansion,
By Julie Bell,
Sun Staff,
Originally published February 5, 2003

"Martek Biosciences Corp. said yesterday that it plans to spend more than $30 million expanding manufacturing capacity to keep up with demand for its infant formula supplement, which gained U.S. approval last year.

Chief Financial Officer Peter L. Buzy said the latest expansion, to begin this year and be up and running next year or in 2005, most likely will be located in Winchester, Ky., home of its current plant.... Martek already has spent more than $25 million over the last 18 months doubling the capacity of its Winchester plant and building a separate packaging and administrative building. That work is expected to be completed in the next couple of months, giving Martek and its contract manufacturers the capacity to make enough supplement to bring the company $120 million to $160 million in annual revenue.

The company reported $46.1 million in revenue for the fiscal year that ended Oct. 31. [ $160M, That's a lot of baby formula.. - JC]

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Congressman fed up that babies can't nurse in public Tuesday, February 4, 2003,

"When the time comes for Sarah Nickell to breast-feed her 4 1/2 -month-old daughter, Madeline, in public, the first-time mom finds herself breaking into a sweat.

"I have this feeling of uncertainty whenever I go out in public," Nickell, 27, said. "You just never know when it's going to be acceptable or not."

Nickell's panic attacks may soon be put to rest with the help of a state lawmaker who is pushing a bill through the House to allow women to breast-feed in public." [I'm torn. We shouldn't need laws like this. On the other hand, this bill will amend the indecency law on the books that states women who breastfeed in public can be charged. - JC]

Freshman Rep. David Orentlicher, D-Indianapolis, said he sponsored the bill after hearing women tell him they felt uncomfortable nursing their children outside of the home.

"It's hard for these mothers because, sometimes, they need to feed every hour and they can't always be in their homes to do it," Orentlicher said. "This is a way to let people know breast-feeding in public is acceptable, it's what's best for the child and should be allowed."

Orentlicher's bill proposes an amendment to the state's current public indecency bill, which states that women who breast-feed in public may face disciplinary action for appearing in a state of nudity.
15 reasons you might be fat

Elaine O'Connor,
The Ottawa Citizen,

Tuesday, February 04, 2003 [ Check out reason number 8! - JC]

"...8. You're fat because you were bottle-fed.

Strange, but seemingly true. The longer babies are breast fed, the less likely they are to grow into fat children, according to a 1999 German study published in the British Medical Journal. Infants fed breast milk until three to five months old were more than a third less likely to be obese by the time they started school than babies fed formula from birth. The longer babies breast fed, the less likely they were to start school as chubby children...."
Moderate Exercise Doesn't Alter Breast Milk: Study
Tue Feb 4, 2:41 PM ET, Yahoo News,

By Jacqueline Stenson,

NEW YORK (Reuters Health)

"Despite some concerns that exercise might change the quality of a woman's breast milk, new study findings indicate that moderate physical activity has no such effect.

A 1997 report found that exercise could lower the amount of immune-boosting proteins that a mother passes on to her baby through breast milk within the hour after the physical activity. But that study involved women who exercised to exhaustion.

"Many doctors are concerned that new moms are exercising strenuously and this will compromise their breast milk," study author Dr. Cheryl Lovelady, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, told Reuters Health. "But we found no effect for moderate exercise."
" No food, drink, breastfeeding
Waterford Twp, February 4, 2003, WJRT-TV,
"Michigan and federal laws give nursing mothers the right to breast feed in public. That doesn't mean their right always is respected.

Molly Bascom-Keller of Oak Park says a guard harassed and yelled at her during a visit to Summit Place Mall in Oakland County. The mall says it has a no-food, no-drink rule for the play area, and breast milk is a drink." [ A more detailed article can be found here What action can women take when these laws are not respected? - JC]

Monday, February 03, 2003

'Take back the table'
Joanne Laucius,
The Ottawa Citizen,

Monday, February 03, 2003, -- [This detailed article on childhood obesity touches on several issues including whether parental permissiveness is actually abusive. It concludes with an interesting note about breastfeeding promotion at the turn of the last century in France - JC] "Mr. Critser believes the legendary leanness of the French may be a lesson for North Americans.

Almost a century ago, France launched a campaign advocating restraint after doctors noted that mothers had abandoned breastfeeding and were overfeeding their children cow's milk, says Mr. Critser. The campaign was aimed at setting consistent patterns of eating: moderate portions, no seconds, desserts on rare occasions only and no between-meal snacks. That campaign still resonates in French eating habits.

"They were taught in childhood not to overeat," he notes. "And it didn't seem to do much harm to their self-esteem."
New Pakistan Ordinance Bans Baby Foods
Tue Jan 21, 7:26 AM ET, Ahmad Naeem Khan,OneWorld South Asia, LAHORE, Jan 21 (OWSA) - "Western multinational companies stand to lose billions after the Pakistan government banned the promotion of baby foods Monday through a radical new ordinance to boost child nutrition and promote breast-feeding.
While passing the "Protection of Breast-Feeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance," the government in the south Asian nation released statistics showing that the country spent U.S $2.4 billion annually on the import of formula milk. This happens to be the maximum spent on this commodity by any country in the world.

According to the new law, " no person shall promote infant formula, or other products, including bottle fed complementary foods, as a replacement for breast milk."

" Prolonged use of formula milk is also linked to a high infant mortality rate, which, in the case of Pakistan, happens to be the highest in the region," stressed leading pediatrician Dr Shahzad Awan. He added that the 50 per cent reduction in the infant mortality rate in neighbouring Bangladesh in recent years, highlighted the importance of encouraging mothers to breast-feed.

Current statistics show Pakistan's infant mortality rate hovered at 95 per thousand live births with some 230,000 children dying of diarrheal diseases, and 136 per thousand deaths annually of children up to the age of five.

Surprisingly baby foods are much in demand here. As social activist Dr Firdous Khan informed, " At present, there are some 160 varieties of infant formula milk available in the country. Although breast-feeding is part of our cultural traditions, only 16 per cent of infants are exclusively breast-fed till the age of three months, while the number of children breast-fed till the age of two totals just 56 per cent."

[Bangladesh's 50 per cent reduction in infant mortality rate says it all. - JC]

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Yahoo! News - Babies' Mental Delay Tied to Moms' Vegan Diet Yahoo! News,

By Alison McCook,

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) -

"The breast-fed infants of two mothers who did not eat any animal products, including milk and eggs, developed brain abnormalities as a result of a vitamin-B12 deficiency, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) (CDC) reported Thursday.

The primary sources of vitamin B12, which is essential for brain development, are animal products like meat, dairy products and eggs. Since the mothers ate little or no animal products, too little vitamin B12 was transmitted to their children through breast milk, according to the CDC's Dr. Maria Elena Jefferds.

[This is the second big news in recent years on how diet while breastfeeding can affect a baby's health outcome (the first one was widespread coverage of omega 3 deficiencies in diet contributing to low levels of dha in breast milk.) Should breastfeeding mothers be advised to eat a healthy diet? Women are currently told it doesn't really matter what they eat, the body will still produce optimum nutrition for baby (although their health may suffer). Maybe we should rethink our health promotion goals and use the time of pregnancy *and breastfeeding* as an opportunity to counsel women on healthy eating for themselves and for their children. Women are highly motivated at this time to do the best for their babies. It's a great time to plug nutritional practices that can translate into healthy eating for the whole family - for life. - JC]
Newspaper apologizes for "Breast Milk Killed Baby" promo
January 31, 20...

The Star regrets any confusion and distress that the poster may have caused. [This story was about the woman in California who has been charged with killing her baby due to meth transmitted in breast milk. Interesting that it was a breastfeeding forum that applied pressure, prompting the apology. - JC]
The revolutionary molecules that turn bland food bodacious Globe and Mail,
Saturday, February 1, 2003 ? Page A1

"In a small office just west of the New Jersey Turnpike, researchers are taking the human taste bud into a brave new world....

A quiet revolution is under way in the world of flavour research, blending chemistry, molecular biology and genetics to cook up recipes your mother never imagined: In this emerging field, it's not the food that will be modified, but you -- the eater.

Imagine a compound that could dupe your tongue into thinking bland oatmeal was hot-fudge-sundae sweet? Or another that could make kids hoover spinach like Popeye?

"You could make healthy foods taste better," Alejandro Marangoni, a food scientist at the University of Guelph, said of the new field. "Just blocking bitterness has huge potential. Somebody's going to make a lot of money."

Linguagen's "bitter blocker" compound, which received a U.S. patent this month, is the first chemical known to inhibit the taste of bitterness by altering human perception instead of flavour. But it's unlikely to be the last.
By temporarily suppressing or enhancing molecular signals in the taste cells that blanket the tongue, researchers at several centres are devising ways to trick the brain into believing it's eating something that it's not.

Food and drug manufacturers traditionally rely on sugar, salt, and fat to mask unpleasant flavours such as bitterness. But that unholy trinity lies behind a raft of health problems, obesity and high blood pressure among them.

"I'm excited about the possibilities of all of this; there are all kinds of applications," said Linda Bartoshuk, who works on human taste perception at Yale University. "The more we learn about taste, the more clever we are going to become at manipulating flavours."

Dr. Bartoshuk called Linguagen's bitter-blocker "the real thing."

"I've tried it myself," she said.

Mixing it with water and quinine, a common bitter ingredient in tonic water, Dr. Bartoshuk gulped it back with few worries about the bitter-blocker's safety. After all, the compound, adenosine monophosphate, or AMP, is actually a naturally occurring substance made up of nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. AMP is found in a wide range of natural foods -- including breast milk.

As Linguagen officials like to point out, there are more than a few of us who have already tried it.

"It intrigues me that [AMP] might be doing the same thing in breast milk," said Dr. Bartoshuk. "Calcium compounds in breast milk are bitter and we have always wondered how supertaster babies [who are more sensitive to flavours] could stand that and maybe breast milk is a natural system using bitter-blockers."

[Hmmm, intrigues me too. - JC]
HIV viral load in breast milk: no easy predictors in South African study30 January 2003,
Julian Meldrum,,

"A simple formula for predicting which mothers may be at highest risk of transmitting HIV through breastfeeding may not be available, according to a South
African study reported in the February 14th edition of AIDS.

The study set out to explore factors related to HIV viral load in breast milk and the risk of transmission from mothers to babies. It also tried to explain why babies that are exclusively breast-fed appear less likely to become HIV positive than babies fed with breastmilk and other food and drink (including water).

The study was carried out in Durban between 1997 and 1999, and recruited 145 breast-feeding HIV positive women. At several time-points after birth (1, 6 and 14 weeks) women expressed milk from each of their breasts which was then tested for HIV and indicators of low-level inflammation (mastitis) which is suspected of boosting HIV viral load in milk....

While the study confirmed that there is a highly significant correlation between mastitis, as shown by the sodium/potassium ratio in the milk exceeding 1.0, it also found that this explained only a small part of the variation in viral load which was found in the different breastmilk samples.
... According to this research, treatments (to deal promptly with infections) and other measures (such as nutritional supplements and education on how best to breast-feed babies) to prevent low-level mastitis might be expected to prevent as few as 5% of cases of HIV transmission to babies. Nonetheless, because these measures are of low cost and can benefit mothers and infants regardless of HIV status, the case for implementing them is strong.

The need for further research, including studies to look at the impact of ARV treatment of breastfeeding women on the levels of HIV in their milk, is clear.

[Can't argue with that conclusion... - JC] | Outrage over breast milk banquets, January 30, 2003
"REVELATIONS that a restaurant in China is serving dishes cooked with human breast milk farmed from mothers living in rural areas have sparked public fury in China.

Several editorials in the Chinese press slammed the meals as "immoral", while online chat rooms blasted the restaurant owner and threatened to tear his place down.

"Goddammit, it is disgusting and wrong to deceive the young peasant mothers," who were reportedly used to provide the milk, one young woman surnamed Huang said on the website." [A much better reason to end the practice - The "public health" concern made me wonder what the worry was exactly - they were *cooking* with the breastmilk, after all. - JC]