Friday, October 31, 2003

Mother sentenced to life for infant's overdose on methamphetamine
"10/31/2003 3:32 PM
By: Associated Press

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- A California woman has been sentenced to life in prison in the death of her baby, who overdosed on methamphetamine. Prosecutors say the baby ingested the drug either from the mother's breast milk or from tainted bottle liners that were used to package the drug in the woman's home."
FDA Official: No Need for Labels on Cloned Products
"By James Gerstenzang, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - A senior official of the Food and Drug Administration said today that he saw no reason to place special labels on milk and meat from cloned animals if those products reach grocery shelves. The comment on labeling added a second controversial element to the FDA's announcement today that an advisory panel had found no health reasons to keep cloned animals and their milk out of the nation's food supply, though it wanted to review more data."

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Baby food, breast milk may contain trans fat
[ This is part of a series running on CTV News and in the Globe and Mail. - JC]

CTV News: Avis Favaro finds children under age two may be most vulnerable to trans fat 

"Consumers are going to start getting more details on the levels of trans fat in the foods we love, with new nutritional labelling that goes into effect in just over two years. But many nutrition experts are angry that foods made for children under the age of two will not have to comply with the new labelling rules.

Many studies have found a link between trans fat and heart disease. Canadians already ingest large amounts of trans through hydrogenated oils found in cookies, chips and baked goods. But many parents may not realize they're feeding the potentially dangerous substance to their babies.

That has infant nutrition advocate Elizabeth Sterken of INFACT Canada angry.

'Even in these baby foods, we see partially hydrogenated fats,' Sterken says, holding up a package of infant cereal. 'Trans fatty"
EOC confirms mothers' breastfeeding rights

Published: 30 Oct 2003

"The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) is seeking to correct this week's media claim that mothers have lost their right to breastfeed at work.

The claim relates to the case of RAF flight lieutenant Helen Williams, who lost her case for breastfeeding her baby at work at the Employment Appeal Tribunal. "

Wednesday, October 29, 2003 South Africa: Breast Milk Bank Provides Hope for Hiv Babies
October 28, 2003
"Orphaned babies, many of whom are HIV-positive, are getting more than basic love and shelter at a home in South Africa's port city of Durban. They are also receiving the gift of immune-boosting breast milk donated by a network of mothers in the city.
The mothers voluntarily express the milk their own babies do not need, and it is then collected and taken to iThembaLethu, meaning 'I have a destiny' in isiZulu, a transitional home for babies who have been orphaned or abandoned through HIV/AIDS. Not all have the HI virus, but most are very neglected and malnourished when they arrive."
Science Blog - Premature babies benefit from breast milk"Infants fed human milk fortified-in-hospital developed comparably to those fed infant formula

Oct. 29, 2003 -- Premature infants fed breast milk made developmental gains equal to or greater than those fed formula specially designed for low-birth-weight infants, an international study finds.

'Definitely, appropriately fortified breast milk is the feeding of choice for these premature, low-birth-weight babies,' says U of T nutritional sciences professor Deborah O'Connor, lead author of a study by Canadian, U.S., U.K. and Chilean researchers in the October Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Breast-feeding becoming water cooler topic : "Breast-feeding becoming water cooler topic
Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 12:00 AM
"A decade ago, most business executives -- both male and female -- thought new mothers who chose to continue breast-feeding once they returned to work were doing 'a nice thing' -- as long as they didn't talk about it at the office, says Carol Ann Friedman, an international board-certified lactation consultant.

Times have changed.

Friedman now runs Mothers at Work breast-feeding programs at 24 large U.S. corporations, including Toyota Motor Sales Corp. and Prudential Financial, and she says the high-tech world has been particularly receptive to corporate lactation programs."
10:30 - 29 October 2003
Lincolnshire Echo
"A working mother has just lost her fight to breast-feed her infant while working at a Lincolnshire air base. Ben Rooth asked mothers and business people about why they felt it was so essential that women should be allowed to breast feed at work or in public. For many women breast feeding is the most natural thing in the world. It's just that other people who inhabit that same world don't agree. Some people simply don't want to see a new-born baby being breast-fed in a public place."

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Dangerous fats lurk in seemingly healthy snacksThe Globe and Mail, October 23, 2003

"Mornings often seem like the most hectic part of the day for Maureen deBarra, as she rushes to get her three daughters off to school."There are a million things to do," the 39-year-old Toronto mother said . So, to save time, she has relied on a lot of prepackaged foods for her kids' lunches.......But, as it turns out, a lot of prepared foods -- including granola bars, microwave popcorn, crackers and cookies -- are loaded with unhealthy, artificially altered fats called trans fatty acids. Also known as hydrogenated vegetable oil, trans fats make pastries flaky and cookies fresh tasting -- yet they can be extremely bad for your health... a growing body of medical evidence indicates that trans fats can clog arteries and lead to premature heart disease -- just like saturated fats from meat and dairy products....However, what has some researchers really worried are the long-term consequences of a generation raised on trans fats. It's even getting into breast milk through mothers' diets...." [I'm not sure what's more disturbing, a mom who packs chocolate bars and chips in her kids' lunches, or the idea that trans fats are in breastmilk - JC]
Ananova - Fresh hearing into lieutenant's breastfeeding claim "
An RAF lieutenant who is challenging the Ministry of Defence over breastfeeding at work is to have her case reheard. Helen Williams, 31, from Bristol, is to have a fresh hearing into her claim that the MoD sexually discriminated against her by making it impossible to breastfeed her baby daughter at work. A ruling on her claim could affect thousands of women hoping to breastfeed once they return to work either by taking time out to feed their babies or to express milk."
: Enzymotec and Nics Corporation signs on exclusive agreement
Food Ingredients First
October 2003
Enzymotec Ltd., Israel has signed an exclusive agreement with Nics Corporation Ltd., Korea. According to this agreement, Nics will exclusively market InFat, to the dairy and infant formula markets in Korea. This is the second agreement for Enzymotec in the Korean market and part of its global effort to establish itself as a science driven producer of advanced bio-functional ingredients for the functional foods and nutraceuticals industries."

Monday, October 27, 2003 - Flame retardants may be phased out
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
"The Environmental Protection Agency is negotiating with a U.S. chemical manufacturer to phase out two toxic chemicals used as flame retardants. The chemicals have been found in potentially harmful levels in human breast milk, and recent widely reported studies found that U.S. mothers had levels 10 to 20 times higher than mothers in Europe."
"Mothers lose right to breastfeed children at work
By Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent
27 October 2003
The Independent
"Thousands of mothers have lost the right to breastfeed at work after an employment appeal tribunal ruled that women have no legal protection when they return to their employment after their statutory maternity period. The ruling reverses a previous decision that gave mothers the right to claim sex discrimination if employers failed to make proper provision for breastfeeding at work. In a judgment seen by The Independent but not yet published, Helen Williams, 31, a flight lieutenant with the RAF, has been told that her landmark victory last year cannot stand. Mrs Williams fell pregnant in January 2000 but was told that if she wished to continue to breastfeed beyond her maternity leave period she should take unpaid maternity leave. The RAF guidance on maternity arrangements also made clear that breastfeeding could not interfere with a servicewoman's operational duties."

Saturday, October 25, 2003

STUFF : HEALTH - STORY : New Zealand's leading news and information website: "Making a mountain out of a nipple? Health groups create a fizz
26 October 2003
Nipples or mountains? It's a question that has health groups fizzing over beer advertising which they say is irresponsible. Health groups say breweries are producing more aggressive, and often offensive, ad campaigns as they fight to capture dwindling numbers of beer drinkers. Billboards for Waikato Draught and a radio station promotion giving away a year's supply of beer to an 18-year-old have the Alcohol Advisory Board (ALAC) concerned. ALAC acting chief executive Paula Snowden will contact the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about its recent rejection of two Waikato Draught billboard complaints. Last week the industry watchdog ruled a Hamilton billboard featuring two raised circular shapes with the slogan: 'Winter. It's outstanding', did not break advertising codes. "
Revealed: UK mums milk second most toxic in world
Survey shows chemicals from everyday products are poisoning breast milk
By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor
Sunday Herald
"Toxic contamination of mother's breast milk in Britain is among the highest in the world, a new survey by scientists has revealed.

Concentrations of chemical flame retardants, suspected of damaging brain development and causing cancer, are higher in the UK than in Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Finland and Canada. Scientists say the levels are "a real cause for concern", while environmentalists describe them as "shocking" and "extremely worrying"."

Friday, October 24, 2003

Breastfeeding bill heard
By Michael Kunzelman / News Staff Writer Friday, October 24, 2003
BOSTON -- Virginia Schnee didn't hesitate to breast feed her daughter during an assembly at her son's Auburn elementary school in June.

A day later, however, Schnee fielded a phone call from her son's principal, who told her she shouldn't nurse her daughter the next time she visited the school.

'I was so shocked I didn't know what to say,' Schnee recalled. 'My husband and I are still trying to figure out what recourse we have."

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Growth of 30 percent Chinese babies impaired by lack of breast
: "Growth of 30 percent Chinese babies impaired by lack of breast
( 2003-10-21 10:07) (
"Thirty percent of Chinese women are unable to breast feed their babies for various reasons, which impairs the normal growth of their infants at the same percentage, said Ding Zongyi, a celebrated Chinese professor on baby medical science, on Monday. Heavy workload and life pressures or physical conditions, including the lack of milk, were major reasons leading to young mothers' failure to breast feed, Ding said. " / Latest News / Northeast / Court decision may change vote on anti-gay marriage amendment
By Jennifer Peter, Associated Press, 10/22/2003 17:24
"BOSTON (AP) As gay advocates prepared for the first-ever Statehouse hearing on legalizing same-sex marriages, key lobbyists said Wednesday that legislative support could be building for a bill that would do the exact opposite. The House and Senate are scheduled to meet in joint session Nov. 12 to consider a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman an initiative that was defeated last year by more than half of the state's 200 lawmakers. But an impending decision by the state's highest court, which many believe could set a national precedent on the legalization of gay marriage, may be shaking up the Legislature, according to Arline Isaacson of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus. ''Legislatures are very nervous about this because of the (Supreme Judicial Court) decision,'' Isaacson said. ''It could change everything. It makes it less abstract.'' The Judiciary Committee is holding a public hearing Thursday on legislative initiatives to legalize gay marriage and civil union, as well as several other hot-button social issues, including abortion restrictions, assisted suicide and breast-feeding in public. [wow, breastfeeding in public is a hot button issue right along side assisted suicide and legalizing gay marriage... who knew?! - JC]
Food Navigator - Ingredients, Food Additives & Nutrition (fibers, proteins, enzymes, food safety, science, ingredients): "Infant formula - does it really cause obesity?
"A major trial on European children is to examine how early childhood diet can reduce the risk of obesity in later life. The findings could lead to development of new infant foods and reformulating of protein contents.

Obesity is increasing steadily among European children, causing concern for the serious consequences seen in adulthood. Nutrients supplied during infancy are thought to have a lasting, programming effect on later obesity risk. There has also been some evidence to show that infants fed formula milk are more likely to become obese than breastfed infants although two studies published last week appeared to disprove this theory.

However researchers on the Chopin project, funded by the EU Framework, point to evidence showing that longer duration of breastfeeding has a marked effect on reducing later obesity risk. One hypothesised reason for this, to be tested in the new trial, is the relative higher protein content of some infant formulae compared with breast milk. ..."
Scoop: CTU Biennial Conference 2003
"CTU Biennial Conference 2003
Friday, 24 October 2003, 8:52 am
Press Release: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

Biennial Conference 2003
Summary of discussion
Work-life Balance

In 2002 the CTU released the Thirty Families Report as part of the CTU's wider Get a Life! campaign. It highlighted that work hours was a significant issue for many workers, their families and communities. Since then the CTU has identified the need to build on the Thirty Families report by exploring other areas of work-life balance that are of critical importance to workers and develop organising and campaign activities that can contribute to improving work-life balance for workers." [ References legislation to require breastfeeding work breaks. - JC]

Wednesday, October 22, 2003 | Right won to breastfeed in bar (October 22, 2003)"A mother has won the right to breastfeed her baby in a public bar after a club manager who threw her out was found guilty of discrimination. The Territory club was ordered to pay a $500 donation to Breast Feeding Australia after it was found guilty by the Anti-Discrimination Commission. The club has also been made to post notices advising patrons it was illegal to discriminate against mothers and that breastfeeding would be allowed in the bar... "

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Norway Leads Industrial Nations Back to Breast-Feeding"
Published: October 21, 2003
New York Times International
OSLO - Norway has revolutionized a woman's right to breast-feed

Mothers breast-feed when and where they want: buses, parks, cafes, stores. With rare exceptions, none leave the hospital without breast-feeding or dare ask for infant formula as a substitute. For trouble at home, the phone book obligingly lists a company called Breast-Feeding Help.

Working mothers also get a break: two hours off a day to breast-feed their child at home or in the office. Breast-feeding at the desk is not off limits." [You may need a (free) account to view this item - JC]
Study: Women Bear Brunt of Environmental Toxins: "Study: Women Bear Brunt of Environmental Toxins

Run Date: 10/21/03

By Rebecca Vesely
WeNews correspondent

A California study calls for further investigation into how environmental toxins affect women's health. It estimates the health care cost of U.S. women's environmentally associated diseases is $12.2 billion annually.

SAN FRANCISCO (WOMENSENEWS)--The push to link environmental safety to women's rights gained research footing last week with the release of a new report called Confronting Toxic Contamination in Our Communities: Women's Health and California's Future.

Released by the Women's Foundation of California, a grant-making organization based in San Francisco, the report on contaminants and women's health focuses on how women's biology and role in society makes them bear the brunt of environmental toxins."

Monday, October 20, 2003

WNV/breastfeeding riskEDITOR'S NOTE: The Randall County woman mentioned in this story wished
to remain anonymous
Canyon News staff
While the threat of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus is easing, there still are questions concerning the level of risk for some people, including new moms.
WNV remains a major health issue in the United States and is certainly prevalent in Randall County, said Dr. J. Rush Pierce, health authority for Potter and Randall counties.
He said great emphasis has been put on the elderly, who are at high risk if they contract the disease, but little has been documented about the effects on the young or pregnant. A young mother in Randall County who is 26 weeks pregnant also has a 1½-year-old child and has been positively diagnosed with WNV by the Centers for Disease Control. Ann has a mild case of WNV. She is concerned about the possibility of her unborn child contracting the disease or having side effects from her infection. Also at question is whether her toddler was infected at the same time and could be affected. Pierce said there is little documented information about nursing or pregnant mothers or young children and their involvement with WNV. "As a matter of fact, only four cases have been documented concerning transmission to infants, and three were connected to breast milk," he said." [Note: I can only find referenes to a single case of possible WNV transmission via breastmilk - JC]

Yahoo! News - Growth of 30 percent Chinese babies impaired by lack of breast milk
: "BEIJING (AFP) - Thirty percent of Chinese babies experience impaired growth because their mothers are unable to breastfeed them, state media reported.
Some women face harsh physical conditions, making them unable to produce breast milk, while others are simply too busy working to breastfeed their babies, Xinhua news agency said on Monday, citing medical expert Ding Zongyi. "
Food Ingredients First: Nutrition, Ingredients and Foods Online - Newsmaker: "Nutrinia developing infant formula similar to mother`s milk - 20/10/2003 Nutrinia is developing infant formula containing insulin with the same bioavailability and potency as the insulin contained only in mother`s milk. The Israeli company has been founded by a prominent Israeli-Arab physician, Shehadeh. Shehadeh is a prominent pediatric diabetes researcher whose decade long clinical research work give the idea for the company`s proprietary technology. "

Friday, October 17, 2003

Hello again, email subscribers!

For several months the email subscription system, powered by Bloglet, was broken. This means you haven't been getting regular updates for news on this web site.

I finally figured out to fix it this morning and you should begin receiving posts again. If you have decided you do not want to receive these emails, just head to the Bloglet web site and unsubscribe. If you can't remember how to do this, drop me a line at and I'll remove you manually.

Welcome back,

-- Jodine
"Breast-feeding may not be guarantee against obesity - 'No clear impact': One study tracks 2,250 boys from birth to militaryAllan Woods, National Post, Friday, October 17, 2003
"Two new studies have cast doubt on the long-held belief that breast-feeding can help prevent obesity in children.. Molly Bascom-Keller, 31, breast-feeds her one-year-old son, Carson. Brazilian and British researchers say breast-feeding cannot stop children from getting fat."

Thursday, October 16, 2003

New Zealand News - NZ - Mum fears breastfeeding policy puts babies at risk
"A Christchurch mother fears staunch pro-breastfeeding policies at maternity hospitals may be putting some newborn babies at risk. Wendy Stolzenberger's now three-week-old baby was rushed to Christchurch Women's Hospital's high dependency unit this month after becoming dehydrated and hypothermic and losing 20 per cent of his body weight." [Note - the hospital in question has Baby Friendly status. - JC]