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Tue, 10 Aug 2021 10:00
Robert is joined by Arielle Duhaime-Ross (Vice News) to discuss the Nestle infant formula controversy.
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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Survive on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Sisters of the Underground is a podcast about fearless Dominican women who stood up against the brutal dictator Kapal Trujillo. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. I am Daniel Ramirez, and I said Dominicana myself. I am proud to be narrating this true story that is often left out of the history books through your has blood on his hands. Listen to sisters of the underground wherever you get your podcasts. What? Starving my babies. ****. Ah, **** Sophie. Robert, that's not how you start a podcast, is it? Why? Well, it is appropriate to the theme of the podcast. This is behind the ********. Thank you, Sophie's podcast bad people. Tell you all about him, and our guest today is Ariel Doom Ross. Did I get it right? Close, close, close. You you didn't you did pretty good. You did pretty good. It's it's Ariel Jim Ross. But but you know what? That was a valiant effort. I love well. Valiant is the only word that could possibly describe me, so I appreciate you saying that. Yeah. Ariel, you are a correspondent and host of the podcast Vice News reports, and you are currently in a closet. A little bitty padded closet recording. Oh yeah, yeah. Got my moving blankets surrounding me and my little my little padding. We're. I'm ready to go. Excellent. I used to have a claw office when I lived in LA, except for I only used it for about a week and then I filled it with trash. So what I'm saying is I respect your ability to actually commit to the clothes because it's hard. It's it requires both a noble soul and a discipline beyond the kin of most mortals. Well, that makes me feel good, because I think my wife thinks this closet is extremely unruly and, like, has no right or reason because you you haven't seen the top shelves. It's not cute in here. You can fit in it. That means you have you have done an impressive job with the Claw office. Well, thank you. I'll take it. Yeah. Well, Ariel, how do you feel about, I don't know, babies? I mean, I do not want a child of my own, but I like babies a lot. Do you think like? They should be fed. Yes, generally speaking, I think would benefit from food. Well, that really puts you on a different standing than our ******* today, which is the Nestle Corporation ohboy. I'm actually really excited about this. This is going to be great. What do you know? I'm sure I think a lot of people, I don't know, most people have. I'm sure a lot of people have heard different things about like the Nestle baby formula, I don't know, kerfuffle, disaster, quasi mass murder spree thing. If you heard anything about this is this. Is this something that happened like, you know, relatively recently like in Asia slash Australia? Is that by relatively recently you mean the entire lifespan of us and our parents that yes. OK. Oh God. When I heard about this, I thought it was like a tainted baby formula thing. I think that's how it was passed on to me through this, like, conversations with people. That's actually not what happened. It's way more ****** ** than that. If they had just, like, sold a bunch of tainted baby formula, that would have been so much better. So so you know it's bad when you're rooting for tainted baby formula tainted because, look, things get tainted, right? You're going to make a lot of food for people. Some of them are gonna die from the food because manufacturing at scale is never perfect. This is much worse than that. So we're going to we're going to get into that. Are you ready? Are you ready to to take this journey with me? I'm ready. If this is actually going to end up being an episode about how nutrition science is ****** I'm so ready for it. I mean, there's pieces of that in here. It's it's more ****** ** than that because nutrition scientists are to give them credit, some of the people who are like, trying to warn about this for a while, but this is there's there's some complicated aspects of this history. So we gotta begin, way back in the 1700s, which is when medicine was like, you know, not we didn't really have medicine, but it was a time when when, you know, men were men and they died of honest God fearing bacterial infections from skinning their knees playing stickball. And in these early days, breastfeeding was the preferred way to feed infant children. Right? And it's still the second best method of feeding infants today after Mountain Dew Baja blast. But in those primitive days, scientists hadn't discovered Baja blast, and so breastfeeding was a pretty good solution. Right. If you don't have access to Mountain Dew, it'll do the trick. Yeah. It's pretty natural. It's pretty, pretty natural. Yeah. Not as easy to get as Baja blast, but yeah, it's, you know, actually breast, like breast milk. I've spent a lot of time reading about like, science or it's ******* amazing stuff. Like, it's sterile. It has like just ridiculous amounts of nutrition. It's incredible. Babies get a lot of their microbiome in the first couple, like days, weeks, months, system stuff. Yeah, like I said, almost as good as Baja blast. There are some issues with breastfeeding, though. One of them is that people like moms die, especially in the 17 and 1800s, and peer like, like plagues and **** right? And so you wind up with a large population of infants and maybe there's nobody to breastfeed them, right? So that's a problem. You also have cases of, like, especially back in the seventeen 1800s, a lot more women died in childbirth. So there were a lot of reasons why you would have an infant and they wouldn't be able to be breastfed just as there are today. There are probably more reasons back then. Is medicine was a lot worse and it became very common for families with means to hire wet nurses to feed their babies. And again, this is like, if you've got money, you can afford a wet nurse, right? Because you are, you are in not just hiring someone to feed your baby, you're kind of hiring someone to feed their own baby less because that's the way it works in a lot of cases. Well, so if I can amend some of that, I think that in some cases wet nurses would like feed their baby and then keep their milk going in various. Sometimes strange ways. Yeah. Yeah. And then take on a different baby as well. So, like, once their child was weaned off, then they would just keep going and take baby after baby. So it wasn't always the case that they were taking food away from their own kids, but that that did happen. That did. Yeah. We're like, obviously I'm not that. That is very important to note. This is not going to be a complete history of the of the concept of wet nursing. There were ways to do it where it was better or worse, but it was very common, again, particularly for families of means throughout Europe in the early US and the colonial. The families often would hire A wet nurse to live with them, and in some cases they would send the infant to live with the wet nurse and then take the baby back once it had been weaned. And if you're wondering, did doing this to impressionable young babies have any impact on them? My answer would be, of course not. That's why everyone was so famously well adjusted in the colonial period, although I'm sure it had no impact on anybody. Now on that subject, it was also extremely common for enslaved people to be forced to act as wet nurses. And in this case you are talking certainly that their babies are in many cases going malnourished, especially since there was an idea among some people, again, people of means that you shouldn't let a wet nurse nurse more than one baby. So that was not, again, not universal, but it happened, and it particularly happened with like, and again, not in every case of a slave acting as a wet nurse, but there were and there were a number of reasons why. In some cases, people preferred to use slaves as what nurses. One of them was that when you're talking about the colonial United States or the colonial like like the the European colonies all over the world, there was an idea and understanding that black people were more resistant to malaria than white people. And obviously they didn't know why, they didn't understand much, but they had like early vaccines, so they knew a little bit. And there was an understanding that making enslaved women nurse their babies would confer some immunity to malaria, which was probably not untrue because as you stated, there is some. Like your immune system, you get some of that from breast milk. So that was a known reason at the time why they would do this very exploitative thing. Now. Mother Grimm? Yeah, it's not great. And again, we don't have data on whether or not there were higher rates of infant mortality for black wet nurses because they were being restricted from giving as much milk to their own babies or giving milk at all to their own babies because nobody cared about getting that data because. It's slavery was a nightmare. But there were like, obviously the people who were kind of being made to do that weren't like they had an agency of their own. And so there was a variety of like, mutual aid breastfeeding networks established by enslaved persons in order to make sure that, like members of their community who underproduced milk or who were wet nursing and being restricted from nursing the baby so that all of the babies could get nursed. Like they developed mutual aid networks within themselves or within their own communities. See you morning stuff already. Yeah. And these networks of caregiving, we're we're we're I mean that's pretty rad. And they were. I I would say those mutual aid networks were as beautiful as the actual profession of wet nursing. Could be callous and horrific. Here's how one black wet nurse, and this is post slavery. This is like 1911 in Georgia described her duties. Quote I live a treadmill life and I see my own children only when they happen to see me on the streets when I am out with the children or when my children come to the yard to see me. Which isn't often because my white folks don't like to see their servants children hanging around their premises. O lot of bleak now again, a lot of bleak aspects of this now what? Nurses were selected with care by families because it was understood that the quality of the milk would determine the baby's future disposition. There was this belief that like you had to make sure you had to pick a wet nurse with a specific disposition because that got passed down to your kids. Like their personality in some way. Did or do you know what they looked for? Well, one of the things they looked for was brunettes. They were vastly preferred to blondes or redheads. And this is again mainly in Europe where the wet nurses. You know, are white and they preferred brunettes to blondes or redheads because their milk was said to be more nutritious and the children raised on it had a more balanced disposition. So yeah, I don't know, like 90 like that. Everybody comes up with these rules, but OK, they weren't good at medicine, so I'm it was nonsense, right? Like most things, they believed now, during the 18th century in Europe, what nurses were so in demand that governments had to establish bureaus where they could register and live until they were needed. The whole process came to be heavily regulated. Wet nurses were required to undergo regular health exams, and they were forbidden in a lot of cases from nursing more than one infant at a time. This was, of course, a problematic system, and it wasn't even really ideal for the rich. Because, you know, people die, though, there was a constant need for mother's milk and more than could actually be provided by, you know, natural methods. So a lot of desperate people resorted to what was then called dry nursing, which was providing animal milk to human babies. And we've been doing this much further back in the 1700s. There are records of people using animals milk to feed human infants as far back as 2000 BC. So people, this has always been a thing pretty much that we've done because you got to figure out something, right? And are we just talking about cows milk here or is it like something different? No, a bunch of different stuff. Yaks and I think camels get used sometimes. And donkeys and and horses and like every kind of milk, pretty much every kind of milk people have ever found. Yeah, they've tried giving to babies, basically. Yeah. Camel milk is the whole thing. I I once did a reporting trip to Australia where they have a bunch of camels because they have a bunch of deserts and people brought them over and there's a booming camel milk. History in Australia, strangely enough, that's something. I've seen a couple of camels in person, but I've never gotten to drink their milk. I would love to. Is it good? It's fine. Salty, salty, salty sense. Yeah, camels are terrified. They're so much bigger than you expect them to be and they they were so giant. They spit so much. Ohh man, I did. One of my fondest memories in northern India was a little baby camel playing with a little puppy dog in the streets of. I think it was Rishikesh. That sounds adorable. It was. It was. It was magical. So dry nursing can work, obviously. You can keep a baby alive and it will it will, it can survive off of other animals milk. But it's also not ideal. And it was observed again hundreds of years ago. They knew that if you dry nurse infants, those infants have more health problems, right? Because it's not what they like, it's not meant for them. It's close enough that it can keep them alive, but it's not what they're supposed to be having because it's not. People aren't yacks. Now, doctors debated which animal was healthier for dry nursing, and the general consensus was donkey. So. I don't know. Again, I have no idea how they came to that conclusion, but that was that was what a lot of doctors were like. Yeah, you gotta get it. It's the donkey milks the good ****. And there were a lot of debates over whether or not animal milk should be warmed or boiled or diluted or mixed with sugar and honey. And we do now know that, like, some variant of those things helps because you're supposed to break down certain proteins that you can do by heating it up, and you want to add in certain sugars. Like, I'm not an expert on how to turn animal milk into formula, but some of this stuff worked. Some of it was just nonsense, like most medicine at the time. Now, the continued inadequacy of all replacement milks was very clear, though. Even the best replacement milk that they could come up with was not nearly as good as breast milk. And for years, doctors and nutritionists struggled to develop a decent substitute. And I'm going to quote from a write up in contemporary Pediatrics, which is a medical journal here quote. In the early 19th century, it was observed that infants fed unaltered cows milk had a high mortality rate and were prone to indigestion and dehydration compared with those who were breast fed. In 1838, a German scientist, Johann Franz Simon published the first chemical analysis of human and cow's milk, which served as the basis for Formula nutrition science for decades to follow. He discovered that cows milk had a higher protein content and a lower carbohydrate content than human milk. In addition, he and later investigators believe that the larger curds of cow's milk. Player compared to the small curds of human milk were responsible for the indigest stability of cow's milk. Empirically, physicians began to recommend that water, sugar, and cream be added to cow's milk to render it mode more digestible and closer to human milk. By 1860, a German chemist, Justus von Liebig, developed the first commercial baby food, a powdered formula made from wheat flour, cows milk, malt flour, and potassium bicarbonate, the formula which was added to heated cows. Milk soon became popular in Europe. Liebig soluble infant. Food was the first commercial baby food in the US selling at groceries for $1.00 a bottle in 1869. So you mean it's right there, not cheap $1.00 a bottle. That's a a good amount of money back then. And this is cutting edge science at the time, right? So how far is the bottle go, dude? I mean, I don't know. How big is a bottle at this point. I think you're talking like a day or so worth of feeding a baby. Oh yeah, that's expensive. That's pricey. Yeah. Now this all brings us to the tale of 1 honoree, Nestle. I'm going to you can guess what he winds up doing. He came from a German Swiss family, and he had an eclectic early career that included apprenticing as a pharmacist and becoming a massive rape seed entrepreneur, which is an unfortunately named seed. In the 1840s, he got into the lucrative nut oil business, which is an unfortunately named oil, and he started distilling rum and absinthe and selling carbonated mineral water in the 1850s. Started producing gaslights and fertilizers. So this guy's doing a lot of stuff, like, that's a weird liar, going from a pharmacy to making gaslights and fertilizer, and at some point along the line, we don't exactly know when he started in the 1860s, he decided to set his very weird mind to the task of creating a fully artificial baby formula. And when I say artificial, what I mean is you don't have to add any kind of milk to it. It's powder and you just add water, right? That's what. Obviously there's natural came up, but that's what an artificial formula is. You don't have to add an animal's. To it now. I've heard a couple of different stories purporting to explain why he started down this path. One is that he had a neighbor who was having trouble nursing her child. Another is that he and his wife, although childish child lists themselves, were horrified at the high rate of infant death. And they're part of Europe and wanted to do something about it. Now, during this. Breastfeeding had become increasingly unpopular among wealthy women, and there's a number of reasons for this. One of them is that formula has started to become a thing, so it's it's fashionable to use formula. It's the newest thing. This idea, it seems like cutting edge science, like it would be better than breast milk, right? Yes. There's also an idea that. I mean, not an idea. The fact that breastfeeding, you can't wear the same fashion, right? Like it it it it changes the kind of things that you were able to wear, particularly in this. And so wealthy women don't like having to spend more time, not being able to, like, wear the latest fashions of the days. So it's possible Nestle just wanted to cash in on the fact that there were a lot of rich women who preferred not to breastfeed, right. That may have been it. May have been probably a mix of things, whatever his reasons. By 1867, Almarie figured it out. He combined cows milk with grain and sugar to make a substitute for breast milk. Acid and starch were removed from the wheat flour in order to aid digestion, and the whole thing was dehydrated and powdered, unlike other formulas on the market, you just had to add water, which is again why it's an artificial formula. Now, because he was a deeply weird dude. Nestle called his invention Kinder Mel, or children flower, which was thought to be a more marketable. Term but sounds, I mean, it is more marketable. Liebig. The other guy, the guy who first comes up with a formula initially called what? He created soup for infants. So both of these guys are making some odd branding choices and great marketing choices here. So wait, I forgive me for having missed this. Where is all he living at this point already? I believe he's in. I believe he's in Switzerland when he's doing this. OK, so he's marketing. He's marketing this in Switzerland. We're not like in the US or anything like that. Not yet, no, I mean, it quickly comes over here, but he's a German. Swiss dude OK. Yeah, so, uh, on reason. Invention proved to be a better product than liebigs, namely because it didn't require access to any fresh milk, and there were often fresh milk shortages in a lot of Europe and in other parts of the world like the US this is less of an issue because we're cow people. But like, a lot of times you couldn't get the milk in Europe, so this formula is a big deal for that, too. All you needed was water that had been boiled to ensure it was safe. By the 1870s, Nestle's infant food was selling in the US for $0.50 a bottle, so it's also a lot cheaper than the other stuff. Now from the beginning the Nestle Corporation warned that formula should only be used in cases where breastfeeding was not possible. Their early publications described the company as quote a strong supporter of breastfeeding and believes that breastfeeding provides the best exclusive nutrition for babies in the first six months of life. And this is true, right? Don't want to be anti formed. There's like formulas necessary, right? There are needs for it. We're going to be talking about a lot of flaws in the industry, but it is a by all objective science, best to use breast milk. You possibly can. There's less, yeah. Yeah. And also, there's a lot of shame for women who can't breastfeed. And, like, it's totally OK if you can't breastfeed. It's really hard from what I hear. Super painful. So, like, formula is great for people who can't do it. Yeah, we're not trying to be anti formula here. We're anti the way companies start to market this stuff. That's where the problem is. Formula is a wonderful invention that saved a lot of lives. And Andre Nestle is not a he's kind of a weird dude, but he's not a bad guy here. He just invents a good formula. It's it works pretty well. And on re himself wrote that quote during the first months, the mother's milk will always be the most naturally nutritious, and every mother able to do so should herself suckle her children. So from the beginning, he's like, this is for people who can't, who don't have. There's a lot of reasons why you might not be able to. That's who I'm making this for. It's not supposed to replace breast milk. I gotta say, I'm still waiting for the ******* to come in here right now. He kind of sounds kind of fine. He's fine. He never becomes a ******* that I'm aware of. It's the Nestle Corporation that does the bad. OK, OK, OK. All he's done is try to feed babies now, people being people, they quickly developed in a lot of the Western world an attitude that formula was superior to breastfeeding. Some of this was for, again, aesthetic reasons, right? It's easier on people's breasts. It's more cosmetically pleasant. A lot of people see it that way. So they prefer formula and because wealthy. An educated women start to use formula rather than breastfeed. A lot of poorer women who kind of like paid attention to what's happening the society pages, think that formula must be better too, because like, Oh well, like, these. The celebrities basically are doing this. Maybe that's what the rich people are doing. I should do it too. It must be better if the rich people are doing it. The use of formula grew common even among mothers who did not need it and the Nestle Corporation made bank. Gradually, however, doctors began to recognize problems, and I'm going to quote from a write up by students of the University of Oklahoma's honors. College on the history of baby formula here quote by the 1930s, the connection between the use of baby formula and malnutrition formed. Doctor Cecile Williams became the 1st doctor to observe this connection and denounced the promotion of formula as a substitute to breastfeeding. However, Nestle continued their aggressive promotion of formula over the course of the next 4 decades, which resulted in a significant decrease in the number of mothers who breastfed throughout the world. So starting particularly early 1900s, you know on re stops being part of the picture, right? He's he doesn't. Live forever, the company realizes, OK, people are preferring this to breast milk. Why don't we market it as better? Like, what's the harm? Why don't we try to sell people on? Like, this is a a replacement to breast milk, not something you can take if you need it. This is something you should take because it's better. All right. Starting to sound bad? Yeah. Now, hearing that, probably the first question in your mind should be how did they promote formula over breast milk? And the answer is, oddly enough, the same way your middle school teachers warned you that heroin dealers would get kids hooked on smack. Nestle and other formula manufacturers like Dumex and Abbott Laboratories would donate large quantities of baby formula to hospital maternity wards. This saved the hospital money because, again, there's a lot of infants who have to be formula fed. You know, their moms die, you know, whatever. They're they. But the catch was. Part of the deal, in order to get this free formula that you can give to the babies who need it, the hospital has to give out free formula to every new mother, right? So they're trying to get you hooked on the idea. Now, when you're about 20, it's pretty ugly. It gets worse. So the early half of the 20th century is a period in which people tended to trust their doctors implicitly, right? We are not in that. Anymore. There's some downsides to that and some upsides to that, but back then your doctor told you something you assumed. That's the word of ******* God, right? Right now, doctors may not have thought much about what they were doing, right? Because they, I think a lot of them, they're saying like, Oh well, free formula. Maybe it will help if they need it. But that act of a doctor handing out formula was seen by a lot of patients as an explicit medical endorsement. Right. My doctor gave me this. It must be good for me or good for my baby. This made hospitals into commercial platforms for for private Enterprise 1 Abbott laboratory sales manual laid out the stakes quote, when one considers that for every 100. Since discharged on a particular formula brand, approximately 93 infants remain on that brand. The importance of hospital selling becomes obvious. And in fact, in the 1970s, Ross Laboratories signed a contract with New York City hospitals guaranteeing that each new mother who left would receive a free one day supply of Similac one day because again. Right. I'm hooked. Yeah. You know who else wants to get you hooked? Ohh. Wow. That was great. Yeah. And products I'm sensing and it's coming on. Is that is that correct? OK, yeah, I'm ready for it. Go. Nothing. Are advertisers want to do more than get you hooked? They'll give you a one day dose of whatever the **** it is we're selling. Especially Sophie. Did we, did we land that big heroin at deal? Are we are we being supported by big heroin yet? That's what we do. That's what we do. All right. Well, you know, tie off, shoot up and come back for the next part of the episode. Or don't God. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. 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I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. Always felt like an ambassador. For speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle. The hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart this fall on revisionist history. Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or? Vascular like to add that seems relevant. You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Religious history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back and we're talking about the baby formula industry. So baby or formula companies, right. So there's this understanding they have like data on this going back into like the 30s and 40s that if an infant is discharged on a particular formula bland brand, nearly always they're going to keep using that brand. So obviously you gotta hook them early, right? It's like a sick like and they're they're consciously following. We have like memos they're consciously following like cigarette companies, like the way that the cigarette companies are good at this **** right? You want to pay attention to what they're doing and the formula Company does. A lot of the same things. And so it becomes very important for different formula companies, of which Nestle is the largest, to compete vigorously for a hospital's business, as this write up in the new internationalist makes clear. In exchange for giving discharge packs of formula to new mothers, hospitals get free formula for in-house use, together with equipment, literature and a package of other services. The most insidious of these is a free architectural service to hospitals, which are building or renovating facilities for newborn care. Abbott Laboratories helps design at least 200 maternity departments a year in the US alone. The layout of these centers, whether by accident or design, make sure breastfeeding difficult. Mothers are physically separated from their newborns. Nurses can swiftly and conveniently administered donated formula and ready to mix bottles. But establishing breastfeeding is more troublesome because instead of rooming in mothers and babies together, babies must be carried long distances to their mothers for feeding, a task that nurses resent. The investment in architectural plans thus yields dividends in the form of new bottle feeding customers the entire lifespan of the building. That's so sneaky. This is written in like that's this is 1973, but they start doing this in the 30s and 40s, right? They start specifically pushing. We will build maternity wards to you, but in we're going to make sure that this is set up in a way that leads you to start bottle feeding these babies. That makes it a pain. It not be the easy, normal thing to breast. And like, here's the thing. Breastfeeding, like getting your baby to latch on, is already a difficult thing if you're going to give parents enough another option and have your doctor endorse it and have the nurses hate bringing your baby to you. Like everything here is just designed for you to end up using baby formula. It sure is. And it gets worse because they also do a lot of, like, you know, Purdue pharmaceutical ****. Like oxy **** right? Sure, they do a lot of that quote convincing doctors of the virtues of artificial milks, or at least neutralizing their resistance, is the key to establishing bottle feeding. Baby milk. Companies spend untold millions of dollars subsidizing office furnishings, research projects, gifts, conferences, publications, and travel junkets of the medical profession. The American Academy of Pediatrics received a renewable $1,000,000 grant from Abbott Laboratories. The purpose is to generate physician goodwill towards the company and its products, an Abbott Laboratories trade publication. States, in effect, we are striving to make the physician a low pressure salesman for Abbott. They just say this ****. And of course it is the ordinary purchaser of artificial baby milk who must pay a portion of the cost of every cocktail that a doctor sips at conventions like the recent ski and Study symposium at a California Mountain resort, which Abbott Laboratories helped finance. So they're paying for your offices, they're sending you on ski vacation weekends, and they're free drinks. Yeah, paying for your drinks. And they're doing this because you're a salesman if you're a pediatrician. Right. Cool. Good ****. I yeah, I love this story already. This is this is not at all depressing. And the formula companies are consciously aping tobacco companies who do this for Doc. There's that's why there's physician recommended cigarettes in, like, the 50s. Purdue Pharmaceuticals copies this playbook for Oxycontin, right? Like this. These are all like everyone's paying attention to what everybody does because it keeps working. Now, all of this, this whole system developed through the 30s and 40s, and the formula industry exploded in the 50s. When birth rates soared after World War Two, Western women primed to trust formula by their doctors embraced it as a more scientific and thus superior way to feed their children. They also saw it as liberatory, because in a lot of ways it was. It means you're not. You don't have to, you're not necessarily a stuck at home, right? If you're a working mom, it makes it a lot easier to do that. It makes it a lot easier to have a career of your own. The impact this had was astonishing, roughly 68. Percent of mothers born between 1911 and 1915 breastfed their babies. Only 35% of mothers born in the early 1940s did the same. So this whole, all of this, and again, it's not just the ad blitz. Obviously, there's also some social stuff happening right now, but there's a massive impact like, this is a really significant change. The 1960s and 70s were also the period in which globalism really exploded, right? This is when Coca-Cola floods the entire world. the United States began selling everything it could to everyone. Could Coca-Cola replaced juice and other local beverages in the diets of millions of people in the global South American advertisements, slick and polished, promised a clean, ultra modern life in imitation of the wealthiest society ever known, and these advertisements came to dominate the popular culture for dozens of nations. At the same time, companies like Nestle and Ross Laboratories saw these so-called third World, which is how it's always referred to in their documents, as a great place to expand their formula sales they started sending. What they called mothercraft nurses into hospitals in poor nations. Now, these women are not often actually nurses, but they're dressed in uniforms that are specifically made to look like the uniforms nurses wear saffers authority. So it confers authority. Exactly. They visit women in maternity wards and in their homes. We'll talk about that in a second. They would help new mothers with child rearing. So they're giving general child rearing advice to new moms. And they're also subtly, specifically promoting formulas that they had been hired to sell. Now, because these women are dressed the same as nurses in these hospitals, a lot of these new mothers are convinced that they are independent healthcare professionals. They work for the hospital, that they're not employees of the company's selling formula because they don't say I'm here for Similac, I'm here for Nestle. They say I'm a a child ringer something, I'm a I'm a mother care nurse. You know, they have a couple of different terms that they use. So a lot of these mothers very understandably take their advice to use formula as a considered medical opinion because why wouldn't you? Right. Of course you would. A lot of people would. Yeah, here's how one mother described a nurse's sales pitch. The nurse began by saying breastfeeding was best. She then went on to detail the supplementary foods that a breast fed baby would need. The nurse was implying that it was possible to start with a proprietary baby milk from birth, which would avoid these unnecessary problems. So she's saying breastfeeding is best if you can get this nutrient and this nutrient and this nutrient. You have to make sure that you're eating all these specific things for breast milk to be best or just give them formula so there's not saying breast milk isn't best. They're saying breast milk is best, but you have to do these things. And if you take this formula, you don't have to do these specific nutritional things. OK. But to be clear, like they're they're lying right there. Yes, absolutely. Of course, yes. Yeah. In the sense that like when you're breastfeeding a child. That's OK. I have not had a child of my own, so I don't actually know this. But you don't really, you don't need anything else other than breast milk for awhile. I mean, you, you yourself need to be as, like, taking care of like, you want to have a good diet, right? Feeding yourself correctly. Right? Well, and yes, sure. But. I'm gonna guess that feeding yourself correctly is cheaper than buying baby form. Sure is, sure is. And it's also easier to do. And even even if you're malnourished because of some things are about to discuss, it's often still better. Better to give. Because obviously, if you're not well nourished, your breast milk is not as nourishing. You know, that's just the way it works. But even in those cases, because of some stuff we're about to discuss, breast milk is still going to be better for most of these babies. And what we're about to talk about. Why? But it's important to understand the nurses aren't saying breast milk. And it's good they're selling you. Our formula makes this easier on you, and so it's safer, actually, for your baby now. By the 1960s, some health departments had started to get wise to the mothercraft nurses and milk nurses. In places like Singapore. They were banned from entering maternity wards. So Dumex and other companies like Nestle got around this by having their nurses wait outside the hospital gates to accost new mothers with free samples on their way home in Jamaica, nurses with Bristol-Myers Formula got around the ban on entering. Maternity wards. By copying down the names and addresses of new mothers. They basically send spies into the hospitals, find the names and addresses of new mothers, and then go to their homes to leave free samples in the Philippines. Creepy. The thing they need to do is just look at your browsing history and then you start getting like, **** sent in the mail with a bunch of pamphlets about baby formula. So yeah, you know, when you did have still happening, you had to hire nurse spies. So in the Philippines, milk nurses would stalk public housing projects, looking for clotheslines that had baby clothes on them. And then, like if you said basically they would see like a diaper, right? And then they would go to that door and offer form. That's so gross. I know, right? That's pretty ****** **. A lot worse. So nurses were just one part of the sales pitch. The other chunk was a marketing blitz. Again, we've all watched the documentary Mad Men, 50s, Sixties, 70s. This is when the advertising industry is ******* exploding, and these formula companies are very cognizant of that. And they developed their own comprehensive ad blitz aimed at convincing women that their breast milk was inadequate. So again, because you have to be a little careful with this, you can't say breast milk isn't as good as formula, but you can say your breast milk. Particularly your breast milk, as a poor woman in the global S is not as good as our formula. There's just using shame as a marketing technique is a tried and true way of getting you to buy stuff. Nestle's ads for Lactogen advertised that it was for use, quote wind breast milk fails. In the 1950s, Borden put out a radio Jingle in the Belgian Congo that went and this isn't a rough one, the child is going to die because because the mother's breast milk has given out. Mama, oh, Mama, the child cries. If you want your child to get well, give it KLM milk. Like the. The Jingle starts with the child is going to die. Record your own version of that. Remix it. You know we need a very nice rendition. We'll get Daniel to put a beat behind it. So one of the first NGOs to recognize that this seems like a bad idea, what's going on with the formula industry, it's called war on want. They recognize the problem, they mobilized to fight it. They put out publications where they explain the tactic, and they point out that the goal of these companies to is to make poor women fear that they're malnourished and that as a result, they were going to harm their newborn baby with inadequate milk. This was a confidence trick. And when these women felt anxiety and fear, their milk would dry up as a result. So there's this understanding that. If we can make them scared that their milk is inadequate because anxiety can affect breast milk production, we can actually make them produce less breast milk. In a paper on this, the war on people, it's pretty comprehensively ****** **. In a paper on this, the war on want pointed out that formula companies were playing on something called the Let down reflex quote which controls the flow of milk to the mother's ******. This is a nervous system mechanism and quote. Mothers are deciding that the that a bottle is necessary to the milk she provides. Some others be even become so concerned about not having enough milk that they will not have enough. Now, the write up I found from the University of Oklahoma's Honors College goes into more detail. Quote Nestle took advantage of this system by promoting the view that breastfeeding is complicated and prone to failure. Nestle's advertisement, such as their slogan for Lactogen, instilled fear and anxiety in mothers about their inability to breastfeed, which can have the physiological effect of actually stopping lactation, forcing the mother to continue to buy formula. Furthermore, Nestle focused on societal concerns of mothers centered around Western cultural superiority. Such superiority focused on the ideals of Western beauty and that breastfeeding will cause breasts to sag, a societal change from the West where breast became sexualized. Breastfeeding is time consuming and mothers will not have the time to work and snob appeal. If you breastfeed, then you are a peasant. Racism was also a factor in their ad campaigns by playing on the assumption of white superiority, IE white women do not breastfeed. Therefore you should not either. Each of these tactics were meant to instill fear in mothers about breastfeeding and get them hooked on formula. Good ****. Yeah. Oh God, it's so complicated too, because like. I don't know. Even just talking to you now, you're you're you're saying you know it's true that formula is is one of the ways that women were able to keep working. And also you know, what's another great way to keep women working is by having lactation rooms in offices and like making it easy for women to have babies, having maternity. So it's just leave, like, all of this stuff is still so incredibly, like, even today, it's still so hard. And so this is, this is really depressing. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There's not like an easy answer to a lot of these questions other than the companies shouldn't be allowed to do this. That part is easy. It should be a crime to use advertising in this way. I will say that one's pretty simple. Now, the newly developed urban areas and countries like Uganda and in the Congo were the main target. Of these promotions, the 60s and 70s were a time of rapid globalization and development in Africa particularly, and that brought with it not just ads for formula, but ads for all sorts of Western products and TV and movies that focuses ads for the modern American lifestyle. This was not a conscious part of the marketing campaign that Nestle and others employed, but it had an impact. Many people were obsessed with modernizing and with adopting new Western behaviors and products. Formula companies consciously marketed their product as the modern and the superior way to feed. Babies quote the zeal of these communities highlights one of the main problems with development. As Western products became available in these countries, the new urban class were forced to adopt them in order to maintain their new modern lifestyles and to separate themselves from the peasant like conditions of the rural areas. Development also brought about social changes for the women in the newly urbanized areas of Africa. As women in these areas began working for wages, they had less time to breastfeed. Nestle's promotion of formula is an easier, quicker way of feeding appealed to these women. In Nigeria, formula Ads played on the cultural concept. Of power and strength, EG bottle feeding was seen to hasten physical development. Now, there are a number of things that made this dangerous. We're going to talk about nutrition in a second, but the 1st and largest problem with pushing formula over breast milk in the global S is that breast milk is sterile. It is very safe. Formula is only as safe as the water you add to it, and many of the developing places where it was being hawked the hardest lacked access to clean water. Nestle's instructions, even the instructions in places they that they handed out in places like the Ivory Coast, presumed the person preparing the formula was using modern appliances. Instructions such as wash your hands thoroughly with soap each time you have to prepare a meal for the baby don't really work. And say Malawi, where 66% of households didn't just lack clean water, they lacked any kind of running water facilities whatsoever. 60% of homes in that country had no indoor kitchen. Now in many of these places, communities or villages would share one food preparation area. The most common setup for that is what's called the three stone kitchen. This is less of a kitchen in the modern sense of the word and more a way to set up a fire pit in order to enable a more efficient. Cooking. The gist of it is you have a fire built in between three large rocks, very large rocks, and you have a big cooking pot in the center resting on the rocks. So the rocks both hold up the pot and also absorb and conduct heat. It's a good way to cook if you're out in the woods with a group of people and you lack access to, you know, a camp stove or something. But as you'll notice from that description, there's generally just one big pot that people use to prepare meals for the group. That kind of situation makes it very difficult for mothers to boil water to properly sterilize their bottle. It also makes it difficult for them to boil water. In order to have clean water for the formula, and even if a mom could make all that work, there's still the issue of very little cool running water in most of these communities. So if you manage to boil the water to clean the water, and you use hot boiling water to sterilize the bottle, both of those things are hot as hell. So you then either have to wait for it to cool down, you have to be very careful to make sure that nothing gets on it during the time while it's cooling down, or once you fill the bottle, you have to dunk it in unclean cold water to cool it down, which can still transfer infections. One researcher who studied how Nestle's products were used in these places also noted that most women in these situations would not have necessarily known they were supposed to sterilize the bottle or boil the water. This is because even though Nestle provided instructions in the native languages of the places where they sold their formula quote, most third world mothers, however, are illiterate, even in their native languages. And again, this is the writing at the time, but it's based on analysis of all of these communities now. Again, and the terminology is outdated here, but this is a guy studying these places. During that time, another person who studied this **** was a dude named Doctor David Morley. He spent a lot of time in rural Nigerian villages trying to answer one important question. All of the formula ads in these places were focused on women who have difficulty breastfeeding, right? That's how the formula companies justified this the idea that poor mothers must have issues with nutrition or other issues feeding their babies via breast milk. And so they need formula, right? Doctor Morley's study found that less than 1% of mothers in rural Nigeria had serious breastfeeding problems. It was just not an issue the same way that these companies treated it as. Again, not to say that some people didn't need this, but not nearly all. And for most of these cases where you're living in a community where you all share one big kitchen, it's much safer if it's at all possible for your baby to breastfeed for all the reasons we've talked about. And meanwhile, like, Nestle is still penetrating, right? Oh yeah. Going as hard as they can on this, you're endangering your baby by feeding it your breast milk. Give it our safe, natural, modern formula that you can't sterilize properly because you lack the infrastructure to do that. And that we are. Handing out instructions that you probably can't read because we're just shotgunning this stuff out to villages that were completely isolated from the Western world 15 years ago, you know, right? Fatima Patel was a nurse who worked with Peruvian indigenous people in the Amazon. In 1978, she told a Senate committee how she watched villagers prepare, prepare formula in that part of the world. Quote, the river is used as a laundry, as a bathroom, as a toilet, and for drinking water. But to get the fuel to boil the water, she has to go into the jungle, chop a tree trunk with a machete. And carry it on her back. No mother is going to use that hard earned piece of wood to boil that water so that babies are drinking the contaminated water. There's just too much going on, right? Like they don't have the time or the and and they're not in a lot of for something that's supposed to be a heck of a lot easier. Turns out it's way more complicated and way more dangerous. Much bigger problem. And again, the vast majority of these women could breastfeed perfectly safety safely. The vast majority of women cannot provide their babies with formula safely to the same extent. Even in cases where mothers were extremely, perfectly careful about all these other steps, which is a very high standard in a lot of these places, you still would have to deal with the problem that babies often don't finish their bottle of formula, right? Like usually it's a couple of meals, right? And every hit, every bottle isn't free. Moms have to pay for that, and these people are very poor. So they wouldn't throw out 1/2 or a 2/3 full bottle of formula, they would store it. And because they don't have power, they have to store it at room temperature and a tropical country where it will suffer. Explosive bacterial growth during that. Another problem was over dilution, because again, the women that Nestle and the company are marketing towards are extremely poor, so they can't afford all of the formula they need to buy in order to use it properly. So they water it down because once they've gotten hooked on the stuff, they're not producing enough breast milk. They can. You can't go back past a certain point, right? That's the way this **** you're stuck. One study in the Journal of Tropical Pediatrics found that in Indonesia, only one quarter of women surveyed mixed their formula reasonably close to its recommended strength. That study noted that the women they surveyed were actually better off financially than most women in the country with higher levels of education. They just didn't have access to enough funds in order to make that work. Among poorer groups of mothers, the researchers concluded that at many, after getting hooked on formula, had to stop using formula because they couldn't afford it at all. And since their milk had dried up, they would wind up replacing formula with cheaper and much less nutritious substitutes like rice milk and sugared tea. Because what else you got to do? You got to give the baby something. So basically you end up with. A bunch of kids that are suffering from malnutrition and maybe dying, right? You sure do. Conclusion? You sure do. Huge numbers of them in the millions. We'll talk about that in a bit. So while all this is ramping up right the 50s through the 70s, there's ample documentation from an early period. That formula, even in best conditions, is not as nutritious as breastfeeding. Have to take extra precautions if you're formula feeding in order to make sure that the that the baby is properly gets proper nutrition. The consequences of this are first noticed in the United States and a Cooperstown. New York during the 1950s by a doctor named Alan Cunningham, a pediatrician who started his career working on a Sioux reservation. So he starts working at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital and he notices that almost all of the sick infants that he treats are formula fed. I'm going to quote from the New York Times here. Doctor Cunningham subsequent investigation published his two studies in the Journal of Pediatrics showed that illness occurred twice as often among babies who were not breastfed in the first two months of life. The difference was 16 fold. And again, this is the 50s formulas not as good. They don't know as much about how to. This is part of how they learn the things you have to do in order to make this, you know, because we're not saying it's bad if you have to. Like, you can keep take care of your baby perfectly well on formula, but it's not. You can't just, like, hand them the formula and kind of forget about it. There's things that they had to be learned once they started doing this. Another science at this point is not is not super developed. It still has some problems, but at that point it's like not pretty. Yeah. Now another study published in 1980 found that only 9% of infants. Were breast fed up to the age of six months suffered from malnutrition compared to 32% of babies who were formula fed by the early 70s and 80s. The consequences of this rush into formula feeding were obvious enough that watchdog groups had started crying foul. In 1973, the new Internationalist published an article titled Baby Food Tragedy, which we've cited. Want published an article with the blunter title Baby Killer by Mike Mueller in 1974. In 1975, a documentary called Bottle Babies exposed Nestle's marketing strategy and their tactics. Subtly convincing women that formula was safer and more modern, spurred on by this global press, governments and some of the countries being preyed upon by Nestle started to take action. In 1975, doctors in Baguio City in the Philippines stopped their routine practice of separating mothers and babies at birth and feeding the babies with formula. They started returning the infants to their mothers within an hour of birth and advising the mothers to breastfeed on demand. From the New York Times quote, the results were dramatic as the incidence of breastfeeding soared the rate of morbidity illness. And mortality dropped dramatically. A similar program worked just as successfully at a hospital in Puriscal, a rural region of Costa Rica. Four years after babies began suckling at their mother's side, the rate of diarrheal disease had dropped by 91%, meningitis by 92%, and lower respiratory infection by 43%. The mortality rate for acute infection declined by 81%. 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And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Religious history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back. So again, awareness starts to build and like protest movement start to build against this horrible industry and the like early to mid 70s. Now, despite this, by 1981, formula sales in the US alone had reached $550 million a year. The world market was estimated to be more than $2 billion a year, and that's 1980s dollars, so you're talking a good amount of money. Nestle accounted for fully half of that share, with U.S. companies like the American Home Products Corporation, Abbott Laboratories and Bristol-Myers making up the rest. Horrific stories like this increasingly reached the front page of newspapers like the New York Times quote when the Jamaican woman. Brought her two babies to Alan Jackson's clinic at the University of the West Indies in Kingston. The pediatrician was shocked by their condition. Her four month old son weighed only £5, two less than at birth, and her daughter was in even worse shape. At 18 months. She weighed only £12 and soon lost four more with Doctor. Jackson questioned the woman, who had ten other children. He discovered that she had never breastfed her two youngest. Their diet since birth had been infant formula. Because the family income averaged only $7.00 a week, the mother had to heavily dilute the expensive. Formula to make it last longer for the four month old baby Doctor, Jackson later told Senator Edward M Kennedy Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research, 1/10 of Feed should have lasted for something like just under three days. She said that one tin of feed lasted 2 weeks to feed both of the children. Ah, God, that's so brutal. Yeah, it's pretty bad. I obviously no blame on, like, this woman. This family is doing the best they can in a desperate situation. And also, how many kids did you she did you say she had twelve? Yeah. I could see how, like, after 10, you might want to, like, not breastfeed. Like, I get that. Wow. Yeah, that's that's really tough. And that also has did. Do we know if the kids survived? I don't believe those two did. But boy, you often don't get. Yeah. So Nestle and their fellows first responded to the backlash by ending the most egregious of their marketing practices. First, they took away the semi official uniforms of their mother craft nurses and then they ended the program entirely. This was not enough to stop an international boycott against Nestle products organized by the Infant Formula Action Coalition, nor was it enough to stop a river of lawsuits and eventually congressional inquiries. We talked about that just a second ago. Protesters convened on the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, which prompted this response from a Nestle spokesman. Nestle, of course, is a Swiss company and does not manufacture, distribute or sell infant formula in the United States and thus there has never been any direct impact on the company through that product. So Nestle's, like, this protest movement starts in the US against this industry. And this is like, we don't even sell our formula here. I was like, well, yeah, that's people aren't angry about what you're doing here so much like what they're angry about. The fact that you know, and again Nestle is half of the global market for formulas, so they are overwhelmingly responsible for this shot. Super duper ignoring the problem, yeah. Yeah. And the protests continued. Doctor Stephen Joseph, a US aid official, went to the New York Times and claimed that reliance on baby formula by the US AIDS research caused as many as 1,000,000 infant deaths a year through malnutrition and diarrheal diseases. The war on want continued to publish exposes until, in 1976, Nestle sued the German translator of one of their pamphlets titled Nestle killed Babies Kills Babies, which seems like an accurate statement to me based on what USA has said. But Nestle? Ends their lawsuit because they're Nestle and they have all of the money. I would suggest that's probably why, and the judge still the judge rules in their favor. But he also tells them they have to modify their publicity methods fundamentally, which time declared a moral victory for consumers. I don't know if I would call it a moral victory for anybody, but. That's so did they actually end up changing the way they were marketing things? Great question. Absolutely not. I mean, legally, yes, they do change it. The question is, does that change what their marketing does, which isn't a point that we're going to talk about that now. So in 1981, the World Health Assembly adopts a resolution that establishes an international code of marketing breast milk substitutes, right. So we decide we got to have an international law about how you can market this **** and they they put that. Resolution through and well, here's the start of an article written by the LA Times in 1991. Till, 10 years after that resolution and 13 years after the lawsuit against Nestle, or by Nestle's six month old, Jim JHYM had withered away to skin and bone by the time the doctors first saw him. The diagnosis? Malnutrition caused by improper formula feeding. The doctor said Jim, would survive, but UNICEF estimates that more than 1.5 million other third world babies die each year because aggressive promotion of infant. Formula persuades their mothers to bottle feed rather than breastfeed. And again, I'm quoting here when I say third World. That's how it's written at the time, right? So that article that that 1991 LA Times article is interesting in part because Jim's I and I think it's Jim, it's JHM. Jim's parents were middle class in the Ivory Coast, which means they had the resources and the nutrition for his mother to have breast fed him. But his moms working, his dad's working, they decide formula is going to be great and they give. They have like their her mom is taking care of the baby because they're both out of the house a lot. And when interviewed his parents claimed that Nestle's ad campaign. The free formula Nestle gave out in the Ivorian hospital where they had their baby convinced them that formula would be the easiest and healthiest way to feed their baby. It was also fashionable and this is an up and coming upwardly mobile middle class family, right? Jim loses more than half of his body weight before his parents take him to a US financed oral rehydration center quote the baby looked like a famine victim. Belly bloated, stick like limbs, a tiny skeleton clearly visible through a stretch of skin. Most of his hair had fallen out and what was left had turned orange, a sign of severe malnutrition. While other children at the clinic were being fed with spoons of oral rehydration fluid, Jim was so weak a drip had to be attached to his nose for the fluid to be pumped in with a syringe. Yeah, I don't even know what to say at this point. Cause like this is just like like actually super depressing. And it's it's real bleak. Yeah, it's a real bad time. Probably shouldn't be legal to. Do any of this certainly to advertise for stuff. In general, now one study showed that babies on the Ivory Coast like Jim, Fed on formula rather than breast milk are four times as likely to die. And again, that's not in general, that's in these, these locations, but these locations are a huge chunk of the market, right? Outrage over cases like Jim's convinced the Ivorian health authorities to regulate and restrict the distribution of Nestle formula at hospitals to new mothers. Right. So this becomes a problem. The health authorities, the they're like, well, let's stop giving this out to everybody. Nestle retaliates against them and says, OK, we're not going to give you any free formula then. And of course, they needed a lot of free formula because there are, there are horrible viral epidemics and bacterial epidemics throughout the Ivory Coast, and a lot of moms die. And you have to have baby formula for those moms. And the hospitals rely on the free formula from Nestle in order to feed these babies. And Nestle says, if you're not giving free formula to everybody, even the people who don't need it, we're not giving you any. **** you. So they're holding, like, motherless. Children make sure hostage they're putting a gun to orphaned babies and saying cool, it's good **** Nestle. So yeah, in short order, the medical system had a shortage of formula and was unable to feed abandoned babies or orphaned babies, quote. The situation poses a moral dilemma for Africa's cash strapped hospitals, said Andoa Joseph, head of pediatric service at Abidjan state-run University Hospital Center. No, we don't want them handing out their products to mothers and persuading them against breastfeeding, but we need their products for mothers who have no choice, he said. Does this mean hospitals should start paying? It's a difficult question. And of course these are not hospitals with money, this is the Ivory Coast. They have to make some tough. Less choices with where their money goes, you know? Now, we will never have an accurate count of how many babies died as a direct result of the ad campaigns and formula and peddling that Nestle and other companies engaged in. I found a single 2018 study that just looked at the impact of Nestle's marketing on infant death rates in low and middle income countries in 1981. So this is one year, one subset of countries, and they estimated 66,000 additional infant deaths in that year alone. You'll hear a lot of different estimates as to how, including some that are like in the millions of years, it's hard to tell. Other stuff going on obviously, right. Not every diarrheal like a lot of stuff is happening in these places. Yeah, I mean I think that's that's the also the main issue, right. You cannot say that a baby who is sick was necessarily sick because of this formula. Yeah, they might have gotten some other thing, but maybe their immune system was weak because they weren't being fed properly. Like it is actually so complicated probably to go after a company like Nestle at this point. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I mean that's why this study that that estimated 66,000 additional list was very narrow in its scope. They are trying to specifically look at when the ad campaigns were launched, in which countries, how death rates changed, all that stuff and excluding things that correlation studies not like. It's because of this, yes, now that study 2018 the World Health Assembly voted on a breastfeeding resolution that was widely considered non controversial. It suggested that the international community should take a mild stand and state that formula producing companies should not be able to advertise that formula is better than breastfeeding. Very simple statement, right? The Trump administration refused to back the resolution from the Philadelphia Inquirer quote. In addition, the US delegation threatened poor countries such as Ecuador that had introduced the measure to withdraw support of the resolution or the US would withdraw withdraw its financial support of these poor nations. O. And Russia did eventually introduce the resolution unchallenged by the US but again, Nestle threatens countries like, if you're not going to give everybody this formula, we're taking all of the free formula away. And the US is like, if you're going to back a resolution that's bad for formula producing companies, we're not going to give you aid. It's good ****. Cool. Well, this makes the US look great. Yeah, now also in Switzerland, too. Yeah, they're a big part of this now. In 2018, a company called the Changing Markets Foundation issued a massive report on the infant milk product sold by Nestle in 40 different countries. Again, 2018, it found that Nestle's products often contradicted health advice given by Nestle reps in public statements. The company was found to make health claims around the world about probiotics and prebiotics that were prohibited by European health regulators. Several products were advertised as the closest to breast milk, but each of these products actually had wildly different ingredients. Quote the report concludes that Nestle is not driven by nutritional science, but instead by a sharp and prioritized focus on profit and growth at the expense of infants and their parents. So no, this didn't stop. That doesn't surprise me. No, but damn. Yeah. Yep. So, like, that's all like pretty recent history. Like, yeah, this, this story that you're telling me, like we're still in the thick of it. Yeah, we're still dealing with it. Yeah. I mean, the good thing is that now more doctors are aware of what's going on and there's more data on like, so it's not, you know. You're not dealing with as much of a problem as like, well, there's more plausible deniability for these companies to hide behind, but they are still engaging in practices. It's again, not the same kind of ad campaign, but it does have an effect that is similar because that effect has been measured and is continuing to be measured. And that's. Cool and good. Anyway. Anyone want to get a Nestle chocolate bar? You know, how about now? It's just. I mean listen, if you want to talk about Nestle, there's also water bottles, which are huge issue like this company has been involved in a lot of other **** that is not good for the planet. You know, we just had don't have as much time as I, but I mean we'll talk about it at some point. But yeah, one of the sketchy things is that when Nestle tries to like talk about how they've changed and like how they're supporting like they make a big deal if we're supporting access to clean water from others in these places because that's so important for them being able to use the formula safely. And it's like, well, you're also. Taking water away from communities in a lot of cases and trying to like, we just had a big fight in Oregon a couple of years back to stop them from taking like 1/4 of the water runoff from Mount Hood and they're currently sucking California dry. And if there's one thing we know about California, it's the state with plenty of water. Are you in Portland right now? Yeah, yeah. You said Mount Hood. My sister-in-law got married looking at Mount Hood. It's a good mountain to look at. That's good to look at when you're one of my favorite mountains. Yeah. Yep, yeah, Yep. So. That's how we how's it going? I mean dread. Dread, yeah. Dread is a good feeling. Everybody likes some dread, yeah? I don't know. Hydrate. Yeah, hydration is good. Finding Nestle infrastructure and well, OK, probably shouldn't. Sophie Robert, what is the legal definition of incitement? Again, we're not doing this again. It's not happening again, right? OK, well, but fair enough, Sophie says I can't end the show the way I wanted to, so I'm just going to ask my wonderful guest to plug her plegables. Oh, is this now the time? Now is the time. Now is the time now. OK, yeah. Yeah. So I host a podcast called VICE News Reports. It is a documentary style weekly news podcast where we really try and take people to the stories, incorporate a lot of field audio, and we cover a wide range of topics. And it's vice, so, you know, it's fun, it's it's a little looser. And yeah, I think it's really engaging. I think we do some good journalism. It also feels you know real and and sometimes there are some swear words in there, so you should check it out. Well that is rad. Check that out and. Don't check out Nestle products ideally. Yeah, yeah. You can find us where you just found us if you if you've listened to this episode, you know where we are, where we're already inside you, your ears, at least in your brain, probably your lymph nodes. There's a lot of new data coming out about about that. So congratulations. Definitely. My sinuses right now for sure. Sinuses for sure. Absolutely. You can find my book, my novel at atfrbook.com or as a podcast on after the Revolution. You can check that out and you can, I don't know, go walk through the grocery store and look at baby formula products and get very angry and none of the people around you will understand it. Unless they're also listening to this podcast, in which case. I don't know, Sophie says. I can't say anything inciting anymore, so we're just going in the episode. Yay? Well, I learned a lot. That was wonderful. Thank you, Robert. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried true crime. And if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Speaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. 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