If you're a reader of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom, Mothering Earthlings, and The Painter's Wife, you would know and have read their post/s on the Milk Monster Bill and how breastfeeding advocates are strongly campaigning against this bill.
Please do not be deceive by its name "Breastfeeding Promotion and Infant Formula Regulation Act", when in fact the proposed House Bill's intent is to water down the current Milk Code. I have nothing against formula milk. What I'm against is these formula milk companies! If this Bill gets passed, they'll be the one to benefit from it! And by benefit, I mean MONEY! If you think that this Bill aims is really to promote breastfeeding, well, you're wrong! It will truly weaken the laws protecting breastfeeding.
As a working and breastfeeding mom, I got really affected when one of the provisions of the Milk Monster Bill is to remove the paid lactation breaks! How will this promote breastfeeding when lactation breaks will be unpaid?! This will hinder more moms from continuing breastfeeding!
The Milk Monster Bill will allow the donation (during calamities, emergency, etc.) and promotion of infant formula for 6 months and up. Some may think that it is all not bad, but it has more to it than you think. Please do read Elai's post on this! It's very very insightful. I couldn't write it any better!
Why The Milk Monster Bill Is A Big Deal
To help you understand more about the Milk Code and the Milk Monster Bill, please do read Jenny's posts:
Kill The Bill Undermining The Milk Code Now
Decoding The Milk Monster Bill - Part 1
Decoding The Milk Monster Bill - Part 2
Notes From The Milk Monster Bill Hearing
Let's not support the Milk Monster Bill. You can help! You can write to our congressmen and stop them from supporting this bill. Here's a list of the bill's co-authors and a draft which Jenny made that you can use to write your letter.
As your constituent, I urge you to vote against the passage of consolidated House Bill entitled "An Act Promoting a comprehensive program on Breastfeeding practices and Regulating the Trade, Marketing and Promotions of certain foods for Infants and Children or Breastfeeding and Milk Regulation Act. This is a consolidation of House Bill Nos. 3525, 3527, 3396 and 3537 and has been modified and corrupted to water down the Milk Code - which goes against the essence of the original bill which was to strengthen the Milk Code.
The original House Bill No. 3396 seeks to limit marketing of formula milk to children up to three years of age. The consolidated bill reduces this period and limits the marketing of formula milk to children up to 6 months only. The Department of Health advocates breastfeeding for two years and beyond.
In a study published in 2011, the World Health Organization found that Filipino mothers are greatly influenced by advertisements or their doctors such that those who have been exposed to these influences are 2-4 times more likely to feed their babies with infant formula products. Further, these mothers are 6.4 times more likely to stop breastfeeding their babies within 1 year of age.
Another World Health Organization study on the economic burden of infant formula on families with young children in the Philippines established that the cost of infant formula (purchase and out of pocket medical expenditure) exceed $400 million in 2003. This excludes costs from absenteeism and the risk of childhood death and illness, which caused an unnecessary burden on Filipino families.
Clearly, the consolidated House Bill will only exacerbate the problems faced by Filipino families. Again, I urge you to vote against the consolidated House Bill entitled "Breastfeeding and Milk Regulation Act.
Thank you for your attention and looking forward to your favorable action on this matter.
Let's fight this together and KILL THE BILL!!!