Jewish World Review Dec. 11, 2000 / 14 Kislev, 5761
UNICEF's deadly mission
"BREAST IS BEST." No, it’s not the new slogan for Hooters restaurant. It’s the mantra of breast-feeding advocates who promote their cause with a cult-like fervor around the world. Their extremism must be condemned.
I have nothing against breast-feeding. After weighing the pros and cons, I’ve been nursing my five-and-a-half-month-old daughter since birth. Mother’s milk offers my baby health benefits that man-made substitutes can’t match. But in the hands of the United Nations Children’s Fund, the breast-feeding crusade is killing the children it’s supposed to protect.
In a horrific investigative report published in the Wall Street Journal this week, reporters Alix M. Freedman and Steve Stecklow expose UNICEF’s homicidal mission to discourage AIDS-positive mothers from switching to infant formula. The United Nations’ own statistics show that an estimated 3.4 million children have contracted AIDS from their mothers and died of the disease. Between 1.1 million and 1.7 million of those children, mostly in Africa, are believed to have been infected with HIV through breast-feeding.
There is a very simple solution: feed the babies formula. Top manufacturers Nestle and Wyeth are ready and willing to provide tons of tins of free formula to poor women in sub-Saharan Africa, the Journal reports, but UNICEF adamantly refuses to support their offers.
The agency’s health bureaucrats wield great influence in the Third World. The head office in New York is led by anti-corporate activists who care more about sending political messages to formula makers than about sending life-saving nourishment to babies in jeopardy. UNICEF’s grudge dates back to the 1970s, when breast-feeding extremists began a boycott of Nestle and other companies.
The protestors believe the formula makers "exploit" underprivileged women in developing nations by creating a "dependency" on infant formula.
The companies can’t win. When they try to sell their products abroad, they’re accused of profiteering. When they try to give their goods away, they’re accused of public-relations gimmickry. The Journal reports that UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy, a former New York City Council president, angrily rebuffed efforts by Nestle to assist HIV-infected mothers. Wyeth’s offer in 1998 to donate tons of free formula to African hospitals was scrapped when company officials simply asked UNICEF not to badmouth them
Bellamy instead insists that the major formula makers comply with an inane U.N. regulatory code – passed long before AIDS hit Africa – which bans the distribution of free and low-cost formula. Ayn Rand couldn’t make this up. UNICEF would rather throw millions of dollars worth of formula out with the babies, than undercut collective support for what they consider a morally superior choice to breast-feed.
Rather than accept free infant formula and save lives immediately, UNICEF recommends that African women with AIDS allow their babies to breast-feed from other women. But there’s a good chance that the babies will simply be getting infected milk from another woman. One UNICEF official blithely supports pasteurized milk as an alternative when mothers contract AIDS. But babies don’t usually begin drinking cow’s milk until after one year. Without formula, mothers turn to dangerous substitutes such as sugar water
and rice water.
UNICEF’s lieutenants in the breast-feeding camp continue to attack formula as unsafe and unhealthy. But in the developing world, iron-fortified formula is often superior to the milk of sick, malnourished women. Here in the West, we enjoy the comforts of fresh fruits and vegetables, multivitamins, and folic acid supplements – not to mention fancy electric pumps, bottles, and refrigerators to store breast milk safely when we have to separate from our babies.
In sub-Saharan Africa, mothers are lucky to eat a half-cup of rice per day – and must often work all day, away from their children, without the luxury of nannies, wet nurses, and basic health amenities. Nevertheless, UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy, told the Journal reporters: ""We continue to advocate that breast is best."
Even if it
JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.
12/06/00: The Amish vs. the feds
12/04/00: Downey and the Drug War
11/29/00: Let the sun shine on the Supremes
11/22/00: Peace prize for a murderer?
11/20/00: Baby Boom parents are asleep on the job
11/15/00: Fog horns of the Fourth Estate
11/10/00: Who cares about election fraud now?
11/08/00: Ms. Houston, you have a problem
11/03/00: The Million Mom Murmur
11/01/00: GOP revolutionaries head for the hills
10/27/00: My impeachment referendum
10/25/00: Gore’s Good Daddy Gambit
10/23/00: Tribulations of a dubious 'tribe'
10/20/00: Pharmaceutical butchers of Beijing
10/16/00: How the West was seized
10/12/00: Fight the anti-pesticide pests
10/10/00: Moochers at the multiplex
10/05/00: Pay for your own day care
10/02/00: Not every senior demands a handout
09/27/00: Racial hype at the Olympics
09/25/00: Watch the other Washington
09/20/00: Textbook case of media arrogance
09/18/00: New York: Land of medical pork
09/13/00: Voices from the womb
09/11/00: No cure for generational pain
09/08/00: Notes on a West Coast wilding
09/06/00: Race matters at Washington Post
09/01/00: For those who labor 24/7
08/28/00: There's something about Rudy
08/25/00: A conservative case against Napster
08/22/00: Death Row Marv mocks justice
08/18/00: The party of Maxine Waters
08/14/00: "Make-A-Wish" shoots down dreams
08/10/00: Who will stop Bill Lann Lee?
08/07/00: Emily Dickinson's lesson for rude drivers
08/03/00: Leave the slogans behind
07/31/00: Hey, GM: Build cars, not quotas
07/28/00: Stop milking The Juice
07/24/00: Silencing Jeff Jacoby
07/21/00: Score another one for TV execs who want to keep us brain-dead
07/17/00: Can somebody say McStupid?
07/12/00: Beware of Ugly Building Syndrome
07/10/00: The miracle of a lead pencil
07/07/00: Partying on the people’s dime
06/29/00: When "Indians" exploit their own
06/23/00: Kids in a public school daze
06/21/00: Fed up with Fannie and Freddie
06/19/00: D.C.'s gag order for Christians
06/16/00: Dads, daughters, and PETA's spoilsports
06/13/00: Tune out Eminem's pitiful "poetry"
06/07/00: "Pained" Dem leader Torricelli deserves to feel some; Why hasn't he?
06/05/00: Tom Green's hidden health-care lesson
06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
05/26/00: Awarding medals by race is a disgrace
05/22/00: Have Simon & Schuster execs lost their minds!?
05/17/00: Sports plebes vs. plutocrats
05/15/00: Whitewashing Red China's record
05/12/00: Our mothers' hands
05/08/00: Focus on the real Waco
05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
05/03/00: Phony pooh-bahs of journalism
05/01/00: Zoo tragedy triggers dumb reaction
04/24/00: Ecoterrorists on the loose
04/19/00: Beware of Elian's psychobabblers
04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
03/03/00: Double standard for day traders?
02/28/00: Sluts and nuts --- and our daughters
02/24/00: Zoning out religious freedom
02/15/00: The Baby Brain Boondoggle
02/10/00: Buddhist temple untouchables
02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
12/27/99: Fight money-grubbing mallrats
12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
12/20/99: Who will help the Hmong?
12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line"
(or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes
© 2000, Creators Syndicate