Thursday, 1 July 2010

BBC doesn't believe lack of breastfeeding kills babies in developing countries

Morgan Gallagher, breastfeeding advocate in the UK, writes about how she was kicked off an interview on the BBC world service for saying that formula feeding kills babies in Africa.

Here's an excerpt, when the producer tells her she needs to stop criticizing formula:

...she cut me off and said she understood I was against formula, and pro-breastfeeding, but formula wasn't the issue. I was biased, and they couldn't have that bias on air. I said they had the bias, not me, and this was the World Service, and they had a duty to act globally, and not act as if the whole discussion was taking place in West London. How could they ask a women in KENYA if she would support formula feeding?


It consistently blows my mind how the media is able to cast health effects breastfeeding vs. formula feeding as a matter of opinion even when the discussion is happening re: the developed world. It's beyond belief that the BBC World Service would try to apply this already false construct to the developing world, and would throw off a participant for being willing to say that babies die in the developing world because they are not breastfed. Because, you know, she's "biased". I guess I'm "biased" towards breastfeeding too, particularly for children in the developing world. I am also "biased" towards those children getting food aid, vaccines, and clean water, as those also improve survival rates. Oh, wait - those are considered facts. Strange.

Ugh. Working nights is making me cranky, and this is not helping!