This paper was written at the request of Prof. R. V. Short for presentation at the 1985 Congress of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science (ANZAAS) at Monash University. I am indebted to Prof. Short for his invitation and for the ideas and support he freely shares with anyone interested in lactation. I am also deeply grateful to Dr. Mary Houston-Renfrew for her comments and support. For further information, readers may write the IBLCE, 2315 Wickersham Cove, Germantown, TN 38138; and the ILCA, P.O. Box 4031, University of Virginia Station, Charlottesville, VA 22903.
Infant Formula: A Mass, Uncontrolled Trial in Perinatal Care
Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
Volume 14, Issue 1, pages 25–35, March 1987
How to Cite
Minchin, M. (1987), Infant Formula: A Mass, Uncontrolled Trial in Perinatal Care. Birth, 14: 25–35. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.1987.tb01445.x
- Issue published online: 31 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
ABSTRACT: Widespread recognition of the immunologic value of human milk has left untouched an equally widespread belief in the nutritional adequacy of infant formula and its equivalence to human milk. Thus many believe that while “breast is best” in conditions of poor sanitation, there is little difference between formula and human milk where good hygiene is possible. Many also believe that women must be free to choose breast or bottle feeding, and that any critique of formula (though not of breastfeeding) is an intrusion upon that choice. But to be free, choice must be informed. This paper looks at the claims of nutritional adequacy and equivalence and argues that infant formula is unable to be “humanized”; that it is intrinsically hazardous; and that damage to Western children has occurred and is probably still occurring on a frightening scale. Once the risks of formula feeding are exposed, social and political change becomes necessary.