Monday, February 28, 2005

ZNet |Activism | Managing Activism: PR Advice for "Neutralizing" Democracy [This is PR Watch's John Staubers' review of a book written for PR Practitioners. Stauber says it's a good primer on how to recognize the tactics industyr uses for "dividing and conquering activists through "partnering" and co-optation by industry." In his review, Stauber details the author's description of the first Nestle boycott and how it was neutralized by the corporation. - JC]

"...Deegan's book tries to put the best face on the practice of 'managing activism,' which may explain why she avoids mentioning the Washington-based PR firm of Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin (MBD), one of the worldwide leaders in this particular PR subspecialty. As we have documented previously, MBD grew out of the successful effort by one of its founders, Jack Mongoven, to defeat the large religious-lead boycott campaign aimed at the Nestlé corporation for its deadly promotion of infant formula in the third world. In activist lore this boycott is touted as a major victory, but in the corporate world it is understood that industry really won the day by pulling the rug out from the campaign. By making selective concessions to the activists, Nestlé succeeded in negotiating an end to the boycott. Later, activists were dismayed to discover that its infant formula marketing practices are continuing with only token changes. Third world children continue to die, but today their plight receives little attention, and activists have found that a boycott, once terminated, is not easily turned back on...."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Perchlorate found in dairy and breast milk samples from across the country
Public release date: 22-Feb-2005
Contact: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society
"In a new study of breast milk and store-bought milk from across the United States, scientists at Texas Tech University found perchlorate in every sample but one. The results suggest that this thyroid-disrupting chemical may be more widespread than previously believed. The report was published Feb. 22 on the Web site of Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. Perchlorate occurs naturally and is also a primary ingredient in solid rocket fuel. The chemical, which has been showing up in many segments of the environment, can interfere with iodide uptake in the thyroid gland, disrupting adult metabolism and childhood development. The researchers, led by Professor Purnendu Dasgupta, Ph.D., of the university's department of chemistry and biochemistry, analyzed 47 dairy milk samples purchased randomly from grocery stores in 11 states, and 36 breast milk samples from women recruited at random in 18 states. Every sample of breast milk contained perchlorate, and only one sample of dairy milk contained no detectable levels... "

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Globe and Mail: The bra-haha that went global
Globe and Mail, By JULIE TRAVES
Saturday, February 19, 2005 - Page M3
"When Erika Ross lifted her shirt and unsnapped her bra to nurse her newborn daughter last month in Dufferin Grove Park, she never expected that people across Canada, the United States and even Finland would end up weighing in on it. But the innocent gesture unwittingly drew her and others in her community-minded Dufferin-and-Bloor neighbourhood into a passionate international debate on breastfeeding in public. During the past six weeks, moms and "lactivists" from around the world have weighed in, using e-mail and on-line message boards. There's also talk of activists across North America planning a rally in Toronto during World Breastfeeding Week this August, possibly at the park where the bra-haha began. Dufferin Grove is normally the kind of park that urban activists dream about. In the summer, there's a giant sandbox, a farmers market, and dance and theatre festivals. In the winter, the ethnically and economically diverse residents mingle over organic meals at the park's rink house...."

Friday, February 18, 2005

Gorilla Foundation rocked by breast display lawsuit / Former employees say they were told to expose chests
San Francisco Chronicle
Patricia Yollin, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, February 18, 2005
"Two former employees of the Gorilla Foundation, home to Koko the "talking" ape, have filed a lawsuit contending that they were ordered to bond with the 33-year-old female simian by displaying their breasts. ..."

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - Money - Outdated Baby Formula Found On Store Shelves
Bebe Emerman KIRO 7 Consumer Investigator
POSTED: 3:38 pm PST February 16, 2005
"Many mothers breast-feed their infants, but many others can't or choose to use prepared baby formula to give their babies the nourishment they need. Consumer Investigator Bebe Emerman exposes why the packaged formula you're feeding your infant may be dangerous to his or her health. Millions of Washington babies depend on formula as their main source of nutrition. That's why it's the only food the government says must be pulled off store shelves after a certain date. But, as our investigation reveals, too often, local stores are ignoring the rules and selling old, outdated formula -- and there doesn't seem to be anyone around to stop them...."

Info from FDA
Outdated Forumal Info

Like many moms, Martha Ritola depends on commercial infant formula to keep 5-month-old Sydney happy and healthy.

'It's easy for me to feed her, it's easy for dad to feed her,' Ritola said. 'It's very accessible. You can go to about any stores including drug stores and they're going to have some kind of either generic or name brand formula that you're going to assume is safe for your baby.'

But is it? We sent our hidden camera into 28 grocery, drug and variety stores all over the Puget Sound region.

We combed the shelves, checking pull dates on dozens of cans of prepared infant formula.

What we found was scary.

Six of the stores had out-of-date formula for sale. That's more than 20%. In some cases, it was just a few weeks.

But hold on! The date on one can reads Jan 1, 2004, but we bought it in May -- which making it almost six months past the pull date.

'Considering that formula is the supplement for a child I guess that's the most upsetting thing,' said Rebecca Porter.

We asked members of this new parents group what they thought of our findings."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

New York Post Online Edition: health
February 15, 2005 -- "I showed Gov. Pataki my breast. In public. And he didn't bat an eye. I'm not a flasher — I'm a nursing mother. And generally a modest one. But when I decided to breastfeed my 15-week-old daughter, Anya, I quickly learned that to avoid being cloistered in my apartment for the next six months, I was going to have to take my milk to town. The idea terrified me. I imagined well-intentioned strangers approaching for a glimpse of the baby only to discover that my pink bundle of joy was milking me like a Jersey cow. And it hasn't always been easy. At Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law's European family shunned me. They actually fled the living room when I decided to unbutton for a post-Turkey feeding. My sister-in-law forbid me to nurse in front of her family after that — a decree she's refused to budge on...."
Breast-Feeding Could Provide Jury Exemption (
(Free registration required)
By Rosalind S. Helderman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 15, 2005; Page B01
"RICHMOND, Feb. 14 -- When Pamela Greene told a Fairfax County judge she was breast-feeding her 4-month-old daughter last year, she expected to be excused from jury duty. Instead, the judge informed Greene that breast-feeding wouldn't be a problem: The court would take plenty of breaks. What followed was a two-day ordeal in which Greene said she spent every spare moment sitting on a toilet in the jury room restroom pumping breast milk. It was hard to get access to a refrigerator to keep the milk cold, and the bathroom felt unsanitary, she said...."
The Globe and Mail: Flame retardants building up within us
Globe and Mail
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - Page A19
"Those dust bunnies lurking under the bed may not be as innocuous as you think. New Canadian research shows that household dust is the principal source of exposure to flame retardants, a class of chemicals that has sparked a heated debate among scientists, some of whom believe regular exposure may lead to serious learning and developmental problems. Toddlers in particular are ingesting significant amounts of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), according to a study to be published in a forthcoming edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology. "Dust is the greatest route of exposure to brominated flame retardants," said Miriam Diamond, a professor in the department of geography at the University of Toronto. "It makes a lot of sense. Toddlers are close to the ground, which is where many of those flame retardants are -- in carpets, in furniture. The chemicals accumulate in the dust." In her paper, Dr. Diamond estimates that the average urban Canadian ingests 155 to 1,965 nanograms daily of PBDEs, with the highest levels found in babies but decreasing as people age. (A nanogram is one-billionth of a gram.) But breast-feeding infants have much higher exposures, from 24 to 28,680 nanograms daily. Earlier research found that flame retardants are commonplace in the breast milk of Canadians but concluded that despite high levels, women should continue to breastfeed because the known benefits outweigh the known risks...."

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Nursing mothers exempt from jury duty under bill ( Online)
By CHRISTINA NUCKOLS, The Virginian-Pilot
© February 10, 2005 | Last updated 9:28 PM Feb. 9
"RICHMOND — Pam Greene raised her hand when the judge asked members of the jury pool if they couldn’t serve. She asked if she could approach the bench to explain, and five attorneys – all men – followed her. Embarrassed, the Falls Church woman told the judge that she was breast-feeding her 4-month-old child. “The judge said, 'Well, we provide plenty of breaks,’” Greene recalled. “At that point, I’m feeling really intimidated so I said, 'Well, OK.’ ” Greene was surprised by her experience last year, especially since the judge was a woman. She decided to ask her state delegate to change Virginia law to automatically exempt breast-feeding mothers from jury duty. “I made it work because I had to make it work,” she said in a telephone interview. “But the whole thing was just a pain....”

See the complete Pilot, exactly as in print
- View stories, photos and ads
- E-mail clippings
- Print copies
Log in or learn more

Email this Page
Print this Page
Get Email Newsletters

So far, most state lawmakers have been sympathetic. The House of Delegates approved the bill two weeks ago, and a Senate panel endorsed it Wednesday. The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week.

Virginia law already exempts from jury duty any parent with children up to age 16 who require continuous care. While that covers many breast-feeding mothers, some women return to work before their children have been weaned from breast milk." - Health - HealthWatch: Banking On Breast Milk, UPDATED: 11:03 am CST February 9, 2005
"CHICAGO -- It's a drink so beneficial that its claims include protection against infections and allergies, and even the possibility of making you smarter. In a special HealthWatch report Tuesday night, Nesita Kwan reported that women all over the world make this drink for their babies every day. It's breast milk. Now, Kwan said, some women who can't produce breast milk are choosing to buy it. The benefits of breast milk are so numerous that a new kind of bank is springing up in this country; the breast milk bank. The concept may seem a little odd to those who aren't accustomed to the idea, but Kwan said a growing number of women say mother's milk is so good that it's worth it at almost any price. The image of a baby cuddled at the breast completes the romantic ideal of motherhood, but the science behind this intimate act increasingly shows that mother's milk is the perfect first food. 'Nothing can substitute,' said human milk scientist Paula Meier, with Rush University Medical Center. Kwan said that Meier and other scientists lead world class programs to encourage breast feeding. But nursing isn't always an option, such as in the case of Bahia Reneau, a Naperville mother who adopted her son, Landon. She tried formula milk, but it caused cramps and constipation. So, believing that breast milk is best, she and her husband are choosing to buy it from someone else. 'Within a day, he actually had a huge bowel movement. He goes every day now,' Reneau said. 'He's definitely ... just very happy and calm and real easy....'"

Tuesday, February 08, 2005 News - Top Stories - Women feel 'forced' to breastfeed
Wed 9 Feb 2005
MOTHERS are being put off breastfeeding their babies because of the "bullying" attitude of health workers, Scotland’s national breastfeeding adviser admitted last night. Health officials had hoped to persuade 50 per cent of all mothers in Scotland to breast- feed by 2005. But according to Jenny Warren OBE, the national breastfeeding adviser, the figure has stuck at around 38 per cent mainly because too many women are rejecting the "Breast is Best" message after feeling "pressurised" over the issue. Many women report that midwives and health workers "force" them to breastfeed and hamper them in their choice to go directly to formula milk..."

Monday, February 07, 2005

Surprises in New Breastfeeding Guidelines
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Medical News
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
on Monday, February 07, 2005
"Feb. 7, 2005 -- Updated breastfeeding guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have some new additions that may come as a surprise. The guidelines appear in February's issue of Pediatrics. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is still strongly recommended. The AAP also encourages continued breastfeeding for the next six months and even longer as long as it is mutually desired by mother and child...."

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Baby weight charts 'can lead to overfeeding'
Sarah Boseley
Saturday February 5, 2005
The Guardian
"Parents could have created health problems in later life for their babies by overfeeding them because charts used to measure their growth were based on wrong assumptions two decades ago, the World Health Organisation said yesterday. The growth charts used in every baby clinic in the country were drawn up in the US, but have now been found to have been based on babies fed mainly on formula milk. Based on those figures, babies who are breastfed can appear to be growing poorly from as early as two or three months old when they are in fact perfectly healthy..." - Kellogg deal boosts stock of Martek nearly 13%
Breakfast-cereal king agrees to use fatty acid made by Md. biotech
By Tricia Bishop
Sun Staff
Originally published February 5, 2005
"Shares of Martek Biosciences Corp. rose nearly 13 percent yesterday after news that the Kellogg Co. plans to fortify food with one of the Columbia biotech's products as early as next year. Martek announced the deal yesterday morning, but only described the partner as a Fortune 500 consumer-product food company. Kellogg, the Battle Creek, Mich., company that is the nation's top breakfast cereal manufacturer, was revealed as the company in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.... "

Friday, February 04, 2005

AP Wire | 02/04/2005 | Couple accused of profiting from untested baby formula
Associated Press
"FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Palm Beach County couple was accused of using untested baby formula to persuade people to buy stock in their company. Brian Bishop, 57, and his wife, Patricia Bishop, 58, with addresses in Lighthouse Point and West Palm Beach, have been charged with 75 counts including mishandling food in interstate commerce, securities fraud, and money laundering. The couple appeared in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday. Brian Bishop will be detained until his hearing next week because he's considered a flight risk. Patricia Bishop is set to be released on a $150,000 bond. They did not say anything on their behalf and did not have defense attorneys present..."
The Telegraph Online
Mothers’ milk
By JESSIE SALISBURY, Telegraph Correspondent
Published: Friday, Feb. 4, 2005
"LYNDEBOROUGH - Jennifer Connel always assumed she would breast-feed her babies. “Breast-feeding is something only mothers can do,” she said recently while cuddling her second son, 6-week-old Preston. “It is the bonding time between you, and your child is getting the nutrition he is supposed to have.” But as fate would have it, Connel can’t breast-feed her sons. In 2002, Connel was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. “I wasn’t married, but I knew I wanted children and I knew I wanted to breast-feed,” she said. “That was the most depressing thing about the cancer - I wouldn’t be able to.” A year later, married to Brandon Connel and expecting son Grayson, now 13 months old, she began searching for sources of human milk...."
BBC NEWS | Health | Babies 'overfed on formula milk'
Last Updated: Friday, 4 February, 2005, 12:34 GMT
By Ania Lichtarowicz
BBC World Service health reporter
"Many babies are being overfed in the first few months of life, says the World Health Organization. New data show growth charts have over-estimated how much weight babies should gain - leading to over-use of formula feed. A second study suggests we need to boost our physical activity levels. Both studies were discussed at a meeting organised by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the International Obesity Task Force...."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

New Statesman - Arts - Diary - Annalisa Barbieri
Annalisa Barbieri
Monday 7th February 2005
"It is said you are never more than ten feet away from a swinger in London, but in Primrose Hill it seems they are within even easier grasp, writes Annalisa Barbieri. I like to start the week talking about breasts - and thus it was that I did. There we were Monday morning, ten women sitting around a table at University College Hospital, talking about breasts. Our breasts, your breasts and, more specifically, breastfeeding: the most emotive subject on earth. One woman pulled out a knitted breast to show how to express milk and we all fondled it fondly. We were there to talk policies: UCH is intent on becoming more breastfeeding-friendly, something I feel passionately about and support fully. The levels of ignorance and misinformation about breastfeeding are scandalously shocking, and women are lied to daily. Someone - cough, cough - high up in government needs to address this, because breast milk is truly magical and should be promoted with the same aggression as artificial milk. Even though it is illegal to advertise or promote infant formulae for babies of less than six months, the milk companies get round it in all sorts of sly ways. That night I squeeze my F-cup cleavage (I am still breastfeeding) into a Diane von Furstenberg dress and go out. One has to spread the word however one can...."
KFYR TV North Dakota's NBC News Leader: Breastfeeding Bill
"There's no law against breastfeeding in public... but many nursing mothers say they're treated like there was. A bill before the state senate would clearly indicate that breastfeeding in public is not indecent exposure or a nuisance. The bill comes as a relief to women who say they've felt ostracized at restaurants or other places. Jasmine Mielke/Mother of Two: 'I am sorry if some people find breastfeeding offensive or inappropriate in public. But it is my experience that breastfeeding mothers make every effort to be discreet. It is hardly my intention to make a spectacle of myself by delivering the best method available to quiet the hunger pangs of my crying baby.'..."

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Best Places to Breastfeed? Best Music for Pumping? Nursing Moms Sound Off at "
Press Release Source: Medela, Inc.
Tuesday February 1, 8:00 am ET
MCHENRY, Ill., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Where's the best public place to breastfeed in Boston, Boise and Birmingham? What music leads to faster let-down: the latest hit from the Black Eyed Peas or the symphonies of Beethoven?..."
CBS News | NIH To Ban Consulting Deals | February 1, 2005?10:30:02
"(CBS) In response to growing criticism, the National Institutes for Health is set to ban its research scientists from accepting consulting deals and any other form of income from drug companies, the Los Angeles Times reports. The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said new rules will prohibit NIH staffers from accepting income from any biomedical company. And employees who now hold stock in such companies will be required to dispose of it. Four congressional committees have held hearings into conflicts of interest at the NIH. One criticism of the deals scientists have struck with drug companies is that their financial relationship with the firms is seldom disclosed...."