Article Overview:   Breastfeeding has turned into a Terrorist issue--at least that's the view of the National Ad Council in its claims that formula feeding babies increases the risk of leukemia and diabetes.   Where do you stand on one of the most maternal of all debates?  Is the Beast of Terror lurking in Similac?


Thursday--December 4, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 813
Terrorism of Not Breastfeeding Challenges Technocracy
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Dec. 4, 2003-- Technocracy, or is that commercialism, butted heads the other days with the Primary Mammary Gland Of Vigilance.
      And, she's mad--or, at least, spitting and scratching her way toward fundamentalism.
      It's a battle of Nature vs. Technocracy; of formula for babies vs. natural mother's milk.

Prior to the last century, the primary source for a child's nourishment came from mother's breast

      Feeding one's baby in a modern rush-rush world isn't like it was a hundred years ago.   Back then, the primary source for a child's nourishment came from his or her mother's breast.   The wealthier women had nurse maids, women who offered their breast milk.
      Whether from a surrogate or from the mother herself, millions upon millions of human beings for about as many years since the dawn of humankind have found the rich nourishment of mother's milk the primary source of fuel to grow a child.
      Over the last century, however, feeding baby has been streamlined by formulas such as Similac.

Feeding baby today has been streamlined by formulas such as Similac

      Nobody raised much dispute over the formula-fed babies until recently when the Ad Council, a non-profit group that develops advertising for the government, announced a major assault against formula feeding babies.
       One of the proposed ads showed pregnant women roller skating and asked the question:  "You'd never take risks when your pregnant.  Why start when the baby's born?"
        The Ad Council newsletters, in support of the anti-formula ads, stated that babies who consume formula milk have a 30 percent increased risk of getting leukemia and a 40 percent increased risk of getting diabetes.
        Enter the conflict.   The American Academy of Pediatrics came to the defense of formula feeding while the United States Breastfeeding Committee held hard and fast in defense of the ads.
       It seems the "scare tactics" are at question.   At controversy also are the statistics and data of increased risk to a baby regarding leukemia and diabetes.   Not everyone agrees the risk is as great as the Ad Council suggests.
      Also at question is money.   Millions of dollars in business is being threatened if the Department of Health and Human Services, the government agency that supports the Ad Council, pushes anti-formula ads.
      So here we go.  Terrorism at work.   Fear, the handmaiden of Terrorism, is about to wash ashore into the homes of mothers who don't breastfeed their babies.
       The pro breastfeeding camp is the Sentinel of Vigilance in this scenario, and the formula makers and promoters are the Beast of Terror--if you buy that formula feeding will put your child at great health risk.
       It comes down to heaping "guilt and shame" on mothers who are too busy to feed their children breast milk.   But is it all true?

"We marshal the volunteer forces of advertising agencies and media companies to effect positive social change"    The Ad Council

         Right now, no one is sure.   The pressure put on the Ad Council to tame down the ads has worked.   The New York Times reports today in its story on the subject that the statistics are being pulled until more definitive data can be found.
       We live in a world of constant threat to the security of our children--from the recent abduction of a young woman in North Dakota, to now, the threat that baby formula might be a brew straight from the Beast of Terror's breast.
        It is easy to feel like we are at a tennis match, our heads swiveling one way and then the other, trying to decide who is the "right" player to root for.   But one thing is certain from this conflict--that there is a growing concern for our children's welfare.
        Little argument can be made that breastfeeding is bad.  It has worked throughout human history.
        Certainly, there is wiggle room for the argument that formula feeding isn't as good as breastfeeding, from both the health to the emotional bonding viewpoints.
        I don't know the exact "rightness" or "wrongness" of the situation at hand, but I do know that I am encouraged that the Sentinels of Vigilance are alert, alive and working to let the public know that the farther they extract themselves from their child's growth, the more room there is for the Beast of Terror to worm his way between parent and child.

Does breastfeeding guarantee a happy, wonderful child?

       Breastfeeding bonds two beings.  A bottle disenfranchises a child from a parent.    And yet, let's assume that Hitler was breastfed.   Does breastfeeding guarantee a great, happy, wonderful child?   Not necessarily.
       But, Complacency with a glass bottle just might start the process.
       You decide.   Think it over.  Study it.  Take the Pledge of Vigilance and then ask yourself--what is right for the future of the children?
       Maybe there's an answer we can all feed on.

Dec. 3--Lights Of Vigilance Shine On Children