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20130803_04246 : China milk scare unlikely to boost breastfeeding

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  • China milk scare unlikely to boost breastfeeding (2013-08-03)
  • Chinas latest milk powder scare will do nothing to increase one of the worlds lowest breastfeeding rates, experts say, in the face of misconceptions, economic pressures, and aggressive marketing that brainwashes mothers. New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra was forced to issue recalls in countries ranging from China to Saudi Arabia following a scare over botulism, an infection that can lead to paralysis and death. In China the scare recalled memories of a scandal over locally-produced tainted milk formula, which left six children dead and made more than 300,000 ill in 2008. This scare was a key driver in a boom in imports that has seen the market for formula grow from a total $1 billion in 2002 to $9 billion this year, according to statistics from the United Nations childrens agency Unicef, and an expected $13 billion in 2015. Only 28 percent of Chinese mothers breastfeed their babies for the first six months, a figure which drops to 16 percent in urban areas. The global average is about 40 percent, while more than 80 percent of mothers in the UK breastfeed. Beijing was guilty of a large marketing failure to boost breastfeeding, said Robert Scherpbie, Unicefs chief of health and nutrition in China.    Photo by Imaginechina
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