The breast is best message is wide spread in the west and any advertising of infant formula is careful not to suggest that it is superior to morhers’ milk.
However, the ill-wind of the contaminated whey protein concentrate has blown some good for Chinese babies – promotion of the benefits of breast feeding.
China’s rates of breast-feeding are among the world’s lowest. But health workers and the government are trying to revive the practice, and a drumbeat of safety scares over commercially produced milk is giving them new leverage. Visitors to Internet forums for new parents are posting comments about the benefits of breast-feeding and the potential hazards with formula.
“The risks of formula feeding are increasingly clear to the Chinese public,” Dr. Robert Scherpbier, chief of health and nutrition for UNICEF China, said in an email this week. His comment came after China’s government ordered a recall of formula imported from New Zealand because of contamination fears.
“How many infant formula crises do we still need to convince mothers and policy makers that breast is best?” Scherpbier said. . .
Some women choose not to breast feed, some who want to can’t. But some good will come out of the WPC contamination scare if more mothers who could, do.