It just makes me sick, those poor babies made ill by milk powder in China. It reminds me of Nestle going into third world countries, telling the women to stop breastfeeding and to “use formula like western women,” all the while ignoring the fact that the water is unsafe to drink. The result is a 50% infant mortality rate in these countries because the babies die from dysentery. Now we have over 59,000 babies sickened and killed in China from drinking poisoned milk powder.
Fifty percent infant mortality rate. 59,000 sick and dying children. All these giant numbers, all these sanitized words used to cover one salient fact: some parent’s baby got really sick or died. Each of those hurt or killed had a mom and dad who either had to sit up worrying about a sick baby or they lost a little baby they loved, not to mention the fact that these little kids had to suffer through sick stomachs, diarrhea, and vomiting. Use sanitized words and it becomes so easy to forget that.
The other piece of this that strikes me is how truly sad it is that formula is fed to children instead of breastmilk. I wrote a law review article calling for laws requiring employer accommodation of breastfeeding women. For that article, I did extensive economic and medical research to back up my arguments. The conclusion I drew was that breastfeeding saves lives and money. We never should have switched to a system where it was not the norm. Of course, money drove the trend on many levels. Money, money, money. Everyone wants it. Everyone wants everyone else to think they have it. Stupid decisions are made because of it, from the decision to make our babies sleep in other rooms to the decision to feed our children milk made from powder to prove we can afford it. Later these decisions became the norm to the point where children who want to sleep with their parents are considered problems and babies drinking from mothers’ breasts is considered obscene. No one questions why it started and what was normal for thousands of years becomes disgusting and unnatural.
I continue to marvel at the ridiculousness of human beings. We’re too smart for our own good. Unfortunately, we aren’t smart enough to make milk that is as good as our own and the result is that it makes babies sick and kills them. Pitiful. Truly pitiful.