"Breast milk is the right milk..."

                "Designed to shape the communication and academic
                 development of future pediatricians, Baylor College of 
                 Medicine and the North American Society for Pediatric 
                 Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN)
                 provide training programs supported by the Nestle
                 Nutrition Institute."
                                        --Nestle Nutrition Institute Media Room

"Breast milk is the right milk...."  Who would think I got this sentence from a Nestle patent application (# 20120171178)?  If we were to advertise human milk, it would make a great slogan.  Yes, I know, I shortened the Nestle patent application statement.  The sentence reads, "Breast milk is the right milk for infants up to 12 months."  The name of this patent application is, "Nutritional Composition for Supporting Brain Development and Function of Children."  This is directed at children ages 3-6.  Their nutritional composition will include DHA/ARA, prebiotics and probiotics besides protein, carbohydrates, etc.  Its to improve cognitive performance, in particular memory, learning comprehension, etc.

DHA/ARA, prebiotics and probiotics are naturally found in human milk and the infant formula industry has been imitating these substances to create an infant formula more like human milk.  They want to improve the cognitive functions of formula fed infants.  Mead Johnson uses sialic acid.  In one patent application they state, "Specific components unique to human milk have the potential to support rapid brain growth.  In particular, sialic acids..." (patent application #20060247153 entitled, "Method of improving learning and memory in mammals.")  In a patent (#7867541, "Compositions and methods of formulation for enteral formulas containing sialic acid.) also owned by Mead Johnson they state, "While human breast milk contains substantial amounts of sialic acid, most infant formulas contain less than 25% of the sialic acid found in colostrum.  Moreover, 75% of the sialic acid in formulas is glycoprotein-bound, unlike human breast milk in which 75% of sialic acid is bound to oligosaccharides."

A patent owned by Vitaerx Pharmaceuticals (Texas), inventors Marian L. Kruzel et al. present a novel use of lactoferrin (a component in human milk, bovine milk has very little or none).  Lactoferrin will be use to treat "age related disorders in humans."  They will use lactoferrin to control oxidative stress which they believe can cause alzheimers, parkinsons, etc.  The patent mentions the use of lactoferrin to control oxidation in infant formula.  They mention a study done in 2000 in the J Agric Food Chem in which the researchers state, "Lactoferrin can be used, therefore, as a dual purpose additive in infant formulas and similar food products for its antioxidant and its antimicrobial properties."

Then there is a company from Israel called Enzymotec Ltd. that owns a patent entitled, "Glycerophospholipids containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and their use in the treatment and improvement of cognitive functions." (patent # 8052992) They will use their invention to treat various cognitive and mental conditions and Alzheimer's disease.  Yes, glycerophospholipids are naturally occurring in human milk fat.

Then there is a patent application from Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, entitled, "Method to Increase the Absorption of Unsaturated Fatty Acids by Human Infants." (application #20120100127)  Their invention is a recombinant human bile-salt-stimulated lipase (genetically engineered) to improve the visual and/or cognitive development of a human infant (particularly a preterm infant).  Yes, bile-salt-stimulated lipase is a component in human milk not found in cow's milk.

It appears that the infant formula and drug industry thinks that certain components in human milk improve brain function.  Meanwhile some researchers that have gotten a lot of media attention tell the public that the reason "breastfed babies are so smart is because moms who breastfeed are more responsive and read to babies."

Or researchers asking,"is Breast Truly Best..."  and declaring that"much of the beneficial long-term effects typically attributed to breastfeeding, per se, may primarily be due to selection pressures into infant feeding practices along key demographic characteristics such as race and socioeconomic status."

So who do you believe?  The media?  The industry and their patents?  Should we believe what we read through the media? through patents?  What is intelligence?  I am rather humored this morning because I think that we are playing the ultimate shell game.   Reminds me of the sixties--smoking is bad for smoking is not bad for you.  Keep us guessing and in a state of confusion, the ultimate con game.

We have media articles that are destructive to the encouragement, protection, and promotion of breastfeeding.  Meanwhile, industry continues to make its profits by creating public confusion through damaging media reports.  While privately owning the very substance that is libeled publicly.
Copyright 2014 Valerie W. McClain

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