Tit-Fear For Fun And (Mostly) Profit
According to the Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD) Falsies Awards - given to the people and news stories that expressed "the most cynical, manipulative and just plain anti-democratic pollution of our information environment" - the International Formula Council (IFC), which according to Mothering Magazine
is a mouthpiece for the baby formula industry, has convinced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to pull ads it had prepared that "dramatically illustrated the increased health risks faced by babies who do not breastfeed."
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding lowers infants' susceptibility to allergies, asthma, bacterial meningitis, breast cancer, Crohn's disease, diabetes, eczema, gastroenteritis, Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, sudden infant death syndrome and urinary tract infections, plus breast milk has a shitload of anti-infective factors to protect against many diseases. Ergo, breastfeeding is a Good Thing.
"The IFC portrayed the ads as 'scaring expectant mothers into breast-feeding'," wrote CMD, "and hired a former Republican National Committee chair and former Food and Drug Administration official to lobby HHS. It probably didn't hurt that most formula companies are 'divisions of large pharmaceutical companies that are among the most generous campaign donors in the nation.'"
CMD awarded IFC its Bronze Falsie award for 2007 for "portraying accurate health information as alarmism and intrusive marketing campaigns as "freedom" - not to mention helping to keep U.S. breastfeeding rates well below those of European countries."