Thursday

Part 6-HIV & Breastfeeding


In 1997, I was troubled with the statements made by the CDC about hiv and breastfeeding--it was not recommended. Why would breastfeeding, an immune system booster, a natural vaccination against the pathogens in a woman's environment, be counterindicated because of hiv? The belief was/is that hiv is more infectious than helpful. [Yet we know that researchers have never found "infectious" hiv in breastmilk. And we know that the hiv tests used back in the early days of the hiv/aids scare are no longer considered accurate for infants. ] At that time, my only understanding of hiv and breastfeeding was that it was not recommended. I believed that the CDC was an organization devoid of conflict of interest. Government had no vested interest in products. Their scientists must have a degree of freedom to pursue their interests. Wrong.
In 1995, the CDC Foundation was formed through legislation. The CDC Foundation partners with corporations to support the programs of the CDC. Sounds good, eh? If ya don't have the money from Congress, just turn to the corporations. This is an interesting quote from their website, "The CDC Foundation is fully accountable for monitoring the progress and success of all our programs. This focus on accountability offers partners the assurance that their investments are carefully protected."
Their featured partner is Cargill-helping 47 elementary schools with their nutrition policies as well as physicial activity. We learn at this website the names of a variety of companies that give unrestricted support to the CDC Foundation (which gives the money to the CDC). Of interest, is that for the year 2006-2007 some of the companies were Bristol-Myers Squibb (Mead Johnson infant formula), Coca-Cola, Hoffman-LaRoche, Kaiser Permanente, Merck, Merck Foundation, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnositics, Pfizer and their Foundation, Roche, Sanofi Pasteur, Wyeth (infant formula maker) and yes OraSure Technologies. I am intrigued at how we can believe that the CDC is independent of commercial interests??? for a listing of all the companies see
Foundations are the middlemen. The CDC can say that they are not influenced by industry because technically they aren't getting the money directly from industry. Their foundation does that job. And the public will believe that health policy is written in an unbiased atmosphere of good science. Dream on....in some ways the hiv/aids policy is like our belief in the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We want to believe that our public policy is based in truth. We buy into the fear promoted by the media. Because how could the NY Times or the Washington Post be wrong? We believe we have an independent media. It is next to impossible for us to believe that public policy could be so wrong. With lives at stake, how could decisions be made based on the corporate need for profits. Some people still believe there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Many people still believe that hiv=aids=death because health care policy is never questioned. Blind acceptance and blind obediance. Funny how the media is now saying that the hiv "epidemic" is over. Was there ever a epidemic? And why do they need more money now, if the epidemic is over?
Copyright 2008 Valerie W. McClain

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