Life is too short for boring stories

This is how Claus Hipp sounds in advertising. And that is, for once, a sentence that I can just nod off. Nature has thought of what she is doing. Breast milk is tailored to the needs of infants, depending on their level of development. It is always available and even right tempered. In addition, there is the particularly close bond between mother and child. I really enjoyed this time, because I could do what I wanted with my child, I did not have to worry about the food. Natural, practical, good, balanced, actually ideal. Breastfeeding is also the most effective way to strengthen the baby’s health. If all the mothers who could breastfeed would do so, it would be a free contribution to strengthening the health system. As wonderful as it all sounds, there is someone who has a problem with it, and that is the industry that makes breastmilk “replacement products”.

First sales losses were already in the 60s, as the births in Europe declined It was time to discover new markets, and they were discovered in developing countries. Here Nestle distinguished itself again by women were sent to the birth pawls, who were dressed like nurses and acted as such, but were nothing more than saleswomen. The mothers were encouraged to quit and instead switch to the milk replacement food. Many did it. The first samples were free. But the angry awakening followed. Not only that the replacement products are very expensive, they are also still to touch with water. However, getting clean water is not possible in many of these regions. As a result, thousands of babies died of infection from the dirty water. “Nestle kills babies” was a campaign back then – and even if Nestle complained, they had to stop their dirty methods. The WHO also responded by drafting a “Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes” (1981) banning advertising and promotional gifts for breastmilk substitutes and free samples.

Even though the big corporations adopted the code, they keep on entertaining. And to contribute to the “salvation” of the company Nestle, they are not the only one in the dirty business of malnutrition. Still around annually 1. million babies die as a result of feeding with substitute food. For example, the breastfeeding rate in the Philippines at 36% and Nestle replacement products are ubiquitous. After all, it is about a turnover of approx. € 1 billion

Perhaps there is no more direct colonialism, but in any case, an indirect one in which one is exploited: the will to do the best for one’s child. Here, parents go to the limits of resilience, even the financial, because the baby food devours up to 50% of the monthly income. Even if the corporations stick to the codex – there is no question of head premiums. And they get paid cheerfully, to medical staff, to every mother who agrees to quit. It is of course unbelievably perfidious, but no offense. And who wants to finally answer the question where the information stops and advertising begins. And information will probably still be allowed to pass. Of course, especially to one of the most natural topics in the world, of which mothers without education would have no idea, or grandmothers, or anyone at all. The question then arises, how could humanity survive so long?


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