Killing Babies for Profit

Annie Heathorn

Advertising committees will do just about anything to make a profit, and get away with it.  They will lie, manipulate, entice, pressure, and convince you that you NEED their product to survive.  Often those that are unsuspecting, off guard, desperate for help or uninformed make the easiest targets.  In America, fast food advertisements focus their attention on hungry, unsuspecting teenagers.  Weight programs focus on the those with eating disorders.  A company’s success depends primarily on how well they can convince the public of their need for their product.  The validaty of their claims go unchecked and unquestioned.  They can get away with stretching the truth, no matter how destructive their lies may be. How many people must be trampled under advertisment propaganda before it is considered a crime? How about 15 million babies every year…

Infant formula industries are killing babies in their greed for profit. Despite overwhelming evidence that shows that breast-feeding is healthier and safer for infants than bottled formula, formula industries convince mothers to buy their product.  Advertising campaigns target poorer countries that lack the scientific education that tell them otherwise.  Free formula samples are handed out in hospital wards and by doctors, and misleading product information is given to mothers.  Mothers buy into advertising campaigns that convince them that the best thing for their child is to spend what little resources they have on formula milk. These advertisments kill millions every year according to Werner and Sanders. “In poor countries bottle-feeding is particularly lethal because mothers often dilute the formula to save money and use contaminated water to mix the formula- water that frequently transmits lethal diarrheal illness” (Oneil 2006).  15 million formula fed infants die every year by contracting diarrheal disease that may have been avoiding if their mothers had breast fed them.  When does telling lies become considered criminal? After millions of babies die in the path of the industries’ march toward profit? Understanding the forces behind health disparities is just the first step toward global equality.  Action needs to be taken.

Misleading pamphlets such as this one convince unsuspecting mothers that formula milk is the best source of nutrition for their children:

2 thoughts on “Killing Babies for Profit

  1. I’ve been hearing about the negative effects of infant formula for so long now, but I sadly have yet to see any significant action being taken to promote breast-feeding over the use of formula. I don’t know if Western media will ever begin to reorganize its priorities and place morals at the top of its list, as the media constantly aims to do whatever it can to generate more money, disregarding the health and lives of all the people being deceived. With all of the statistics and proof revealing the harmful effects of infant formula, especially in developing countries, when will the media begin to be on the side of the people, not the companies? When will health and the lives of babies and mothers finally become a priority as it should be? And when will the people with money and control over the media and propaganda finally realize that it should be a human right to receive the TRUTH?
    It’s disgusting how sickness and death are so commonly used to profit the rich nowadays. As such a significant portion of the world suffers each day and continues to be lied to, we should have a say in what the media portrays and demand the end to harmful, money-making propaganda.

    • Good point in bringing up the concept of breast feeding and baby formula. Growing up, my family never had health insurance so we would utilize the low cost/free community clinics, where many pregnant woman would also attend. One of the issues on why they were not receiving proper care, was also due to language barriers between physicians and patients. Directions were given, and often, mothers would not understand so they would ask someone in the waiting area to translate. Minor details between translation could have a huge effect on how much water is used for baby formula as well as the mother and childs well being.

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