Quezon City. On the occasion of the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW 2008) that will kick off on August 1 to 7, a waste and pollution watchdog makes a pitch for breastmilk as being most friendly to the environment and climate.
“Compared to the manufacture of infant milk formula, the all-natural production of breastmilk in a woman’s body does not that involve huge amounts of resources and fuels and the associated wastes. It’s super nature-friendly all the way, produced and delivered to a totally satisfied baby consumer without any pollution,” Elsie Brandes-de Veyra, an official of the EcoWaste Coalition, explained.
“We therefore join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), the Department of Health and our tireless champions in the civil society in celebrating and defending this most ecological food that has nourished and sustained humanity for ages,” De Veyra, a retired nurse, said.
A WABA paper on “Breastmilk: A World Resource” by Andrew Radford of Baby Milk Action in UK points out that breastmilk produces no waste, needs no extra packaging, is ready to use at the right temperature, and does not have to be shipped around the world. Most women do not menstruate when breastfeeding and therefore reducing the need for sanitary napkins,
tampons or cloths.
The EcoWaste Coalition is particularly concerned with the adverse impact of the production, marketing, use and disposal of commercial infant and baby foods on the world’s fast diminishing natural resources and the trash and pollution created in every phase of the trail.
“With the aggressive marketing of commercial breastmilk substitutes and with the illegal dumps bursting at the seams, we find it critical that breastfeeding, a most eco-friendly act, is promoted, protected and supported at all times and in all places,” the EcoWaste Coalition stated.
The EcoWaste Coalition is likewise concerned with the presence of bisphenol A or BPA, an industrial chemical, in polycarbonate plastic feeding bottles and in the lining on infant formula cans. Scientists are worried that BPA can leach out into the milk and warned about its toxic effects to the environment and humans, especially to the newborns and infants.
WBW 2008 calls for greater support for mothers in achieving the highest standard of infant feeding: exclusive breastfeeding for six months, and providing appropriate complementary foods with continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond.
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