The infant-formula business is booming and it’s costing babies’ lives, according to a joint statement against breast-milk substitutions issued yesterday.
The $11.5 billion formula industry undermines babies’ health by depriving them of critical nutrition, and erodes progress made towards reducing stubbornly high child mortality rates, UNICEF, Save the Children, the WHO, World Vision and Helen Keller International agree.
“The use of infant formula and other breast milk substitutes may not only prevent further progress on malnutrition, but could reverse progress already made,” the statement reads.
The NGOs estimate that 10 per cent of infant deaths where the child is less than six months old are caused by “suboptimal breastfeeding”.
“An exclusively breastfed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than a non-breastfed child,” UNICEF spokeswoman Denise Shepherd-Johnson told the Post yesterday.