WHO Condemns Formula Company Funding for Health Professional Associations

In a February 11 letter to the Lancet, World Health Organization officials criticized the practice of health professional associations taking funding from manufacturers of breast milk substitutes. Specifically, they criticized the Britain’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Health (RCPH) for its October 2016 decision to continue taking such funding. Noting the Lancet Series on breastfeeding from earlier in 2016 highlights that the breastmilk substitute industry is likely to generate upward of US$70 billion in sales but improving breastfeeding practices would annually save the lives of 820,000 children under the age of five, and prevent thousands of women dying from breast cancer and cut rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes and improve intelligence tests on people who were breastfed. The RCPH’s US counterpart, the American Academy of Pediatrics, continues to take money from manufacturers of breast milk substitutes.

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