Friday, March 05, 2004

Contra Costa Times | 03/05/2004 | Baby formula marketing effort upsets advocates of breastfeeding: "Posted on Fri, Mar. 05,
By Miriam Jordan
"ANAHEIM - By the dozens, mothers with strollers and protruding bellies approach the stand of the only infant-formula company exhibiting at an annual baby-products fair here. Like many others, Alicia Araujo leaves the booth clutching a free sample can. 'They were very helpful,' she says, pushing a carriage with her 4-month-old, Danielle. Nestle SA is betting on Hispanic mothers like Araujo to boost its share of the $3 billion U.S. infant-formula market -- and some doctors and breast-feeding advocates are irate. The company has begun promoting Nan, a leading brand in Latin America, just as the U.S. government is poised to launch the first campaign in a century to persuade low-income, minority mothers to breast-feed. At issue is whether companies should market baby formula to low-income immigrant mothers when health experts and government officials agree that breast-feeding is healthier, and saves in long-term health care costs. Most health professionals say breast milk is superior to formula for infants, except in rare cases such as when a mother is HIV-positive. Doctors also recommend that all women breast-feed their babies for at least the first six months of life...."

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