In a debate what do you do when you have been placed in a defensive position? Yes, you don't back down, you go on the offense, muddle the question, create blame; and if you are ruthless enough, create the scapegoat. Thus the issue of LLLI and the licensing of "Got Breastmilk" with the California Milk Processing Board becomes another issue. The issue of IBCLCs, going to formula-funded Conferences, or presenting at Conferences sponsored by WHO Code breakers. The turning of the tables means that the real issue is buried. What is the real issue? At this time it is not individuals in a profession who are ignoring the WHO Code, it is organizations making decisions that make the WHO Code moribund, dead in its tracks. I am not sure why breastfeeding advocates allow the issue to be reinvented. Fear of public discussion, "airing your dirty laundry in public?" Yet, by burying this so very critical essence of breastfeeding advocacy, we allow multi-national corporations to call the shots. While the PR states that the California Milk Processing Board (CMPB) is giving 50% of the royalties to LLLI for use of their trademark, "Got Breastmilk," we need to consider that LLLI is giving royalties to the dairy processing industry (the infant formula industry is part and parcel of this industry). Great PR switch in saying that royalties are going to LLLI. In fact the royalties are going to CMPB, just that they are only taking 50% of their cut.
A description of the CMPD and that it is funded by California milk processors:
The executive director is Steve James, formerly of Dean Foods and was general manager and president of Swiss Dairy (as of 2006). Swiss Dairy is owned by Dean Foods.
Dean Foods does an organic brand of infant formula. There has been controversy over their "marketing gimmick."
The irony of a breastfeeding organization paying royalities to the marketing section of the dairy industry (which encompasses the infant formula industry) escapes few people but those who seem to have made this decision. There are a ton of questions regarding this decision. Where did the LLL Board get their information regarding the CMPB? Was legal advice used? Who did the research on this to determine whether it was a good thing to do? Are other breastfeeding organizations supportive of this? Is the sounds of silence the answer to this? What happens when non-profits become less and less transparent in their actions? What happens when they become unanswerable to the wishes of the very people who support them? I don't really expect that any of this will become public and so the saga ends. It was a very good organization, God rest its soul.......
For those who are interested in some more patent applications, I thought I'd add a few more patent applications to mull over. First though I want to take a quote from the US Patent & Trademark on what is a patent.
"A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor 'to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States' for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted."
In the USA, public disclosure is part of the price of receiving a monopoly on your invention. The website of the US Patent & Trademark Office is
Patent application #20100217182 entitled, "Process for Use with Breastpump to Initiate Milk in Breastfeeding, Particularly for Premature Infants," inventors: Brian H. Silver and Paula Meier
owned by Medela Holding AG.
Patent application #20110045590 entitled, "CALCIUM-INFLUX INHIBITORY FACTOR AND METHOD OF ISOLATION," inventor, E. Stephen Buescher, owned by Eastern Virginia Medical School.
If readers want to know about these patent applications, you can read them at the US Patent & Trademark Office, because patents, patent applications are public record. You can read the trademarks there, too.
Copyright 2011 Valerie W. McClain