The July issue of Breastfeeding Briefs from the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) expands on a statement earlier in the year by IBFAN on Infant and Young Child Feeding and Chemical Residues.
Parents, carers and health professionals are rightly concerned about feeding infants and young children in our polluted world. The presence of toxic substances and chemical residues in numerous foods have harmful effects on children’s health and in this context, we need independent information on the risks and dangers of environmental pollution.
This briefing covers the main chemical residues found in breast milk as well as those found in infant formula, baby foods, feeding bottles and teats. It emphasises the potential for harm to health and development caused by chemical exposure during pregnancy, at a time when the tissues and organs of the unborn child are developing rapidly.
Lastly, it considers the role of breastfeeding in mitigating these harmful effects. Contrary to breastfeeding, formula feeding does not afford any protection to babies exposed to chemicals in the womb. In addition, it contributes to environmental pollution that will eventually increase the risk of exposure of us all, and of women during pregnancy and lactation, to chemicals. It has a negative ecological footprint with consequences for future generations that are aggravated if breastfeeding is discouraged whenever chemical residues are detected in breast milk.
Post provided by campaign secretariat HEAL