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Houston Breakthrough, May 1979
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Houston Breakthrough, May 1979 - Page 17. May 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 21, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/630/show/618.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(May 1979). Houston Breakthrough, May 1979 - Page 17. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/630/show/618

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, May 1979 - Page 17, May 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 21, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/630/show/618.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, May 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date May 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
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Title Page 17
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File Name femin_201109_550ap.jpg
Transcript tors, nurses, medical experts and critics, and the formula companies the opportunity to present their testimonies. Kennedy asked the subcommittee "Can a product which requires clean water, good sanitation, adequate family income and a literate parent to follow printed instructions be properly and safely used in areas where water is contaminated, sewage runs in the streets, poverty is severe and illiteracy is high? . . . When economic incentives are in conflict with public health requirements how shall that conflict be resolved? Is it enough to establish a code for product use and disown or turn away from the realities of product use?'' Four years before the Senate hearing, a Roman Catholic order, the Sisters of the Precious Blood became concerned. Share-holders in the Bristol-Myers corporation which manufactures and markets Enfamil and Olac infant formulas, they asked the same questions of their corporation. They filed a shareholder's resolution in December 1974 asking for information on the company's promotion and sales practices in the Third World. At first Bristol-Myers refused to give the information. Later, they asserted in a proxy statement that 'Infant formula products are neither intended nor promoted for private purchase where chronic poverty or ignorance could lead to product misuse or harmful effects." After making their own investigation, gathering extensive affidavits from pediatricians and nutritionists in 15 impoverished countries, the order had proof that sales to private persons and abuse of Bristol—Myer's products were widespread. After attempting settlement through negotiations, the nuns filed suit in April 1976. The suit was dismissed a year later on the grounds that whether or not assertions in the company's proxy statement were true, the sisters were not caused "irreparable harm." Nevertheless, Bristol- Myers and the nuns reached an out-of- court settlement in which the firm promised it would send to all stockholders a report on infant formula misuse prepared by the religious order at the Interfaith Center (a coalition of church groups). The company also promised to end "all consumer-directed formula promotion in the hospital, home and clinic as well as in more public places." In the summer of 1976 an international conference was held in Switzerland to plan strategies for continuing the struggle. In the United States, 19 members of Congress co-sponsored a resolution calling for an investigation of American formula companies. Church groups submitted further resolutions to American companies calling for major revisions in their marketing codes for Third World countries. These companies were asked to end their practice of providing free samples to new mothers in hospitals and at home. Formula companies were also asked to discontinue their practice of putting their saleswomen in nurse's uniforms, thus implying that such women were a part of the medical community. Such "milk nurses" were commonly sent to visit Third World women upon the birth of their infants. "But the 'milk nurses' weren't hired just to work as nurses," points out Douglas A. Johnson, national chair of INFACT. "They were hired to look like nurses and to promote formula—to exploit every mother's desire to do what's best for her baby-regardless of what the cost in babies' lives might be. "The cost is staggering. For in places where pure water and knowledge of sterilizing procedures are scarce, artificial milk formula (which lacks natural antibodies found in mother's milk) is like a loaded gun. Improperly prepared, the bottle is a breeding ground for bacteria that cause acute diarrhea, malnutrition . . . and death. "The infant formula peddlers are protecting a billion dollars a year in sales to Third World countries." The response from American milk companies has been varied. Abbott Laboratories, makers of Similac and Isomil, revised their code of marketing ethics and took their saleswomen out of nurses' uniforms. The most prompt and thorough response came from the Borden company, which completely withdrew all promotion of KLIM, their milk for nursing babies. American companies, albeit grudgingly, responded to public pressure and agreed to make some concessions. Such was not the case with the Nestle company, the largest seller of infant formula in developing countries. Following the 1976 international conference, Nestle claimed to have taken milk nurses out of white uniforms. They are now in colored uniforms. Nestle claimed to have withdrawn direct media advertising in Africa in 1976 and not to have advertised at all in Latin America. They also claimed to be stressing the importance of breast-feeding on labels and promotional literature. Evidently, these claims are not all to be trusted. Extensive TV and radio advertising for Nestle's Lactogen was reported throughout 1976 and 1977 in Malaysia, Rhodesia and Liberia. Several reports describe Nestle formula posters in local stores in Guatemala and Honduras and newspaper ads in Uruguay. The Malaysian newspaper Utusan Konsumer reported on a Nestle-sponsored baby show in October 1978, four months after Nestle claimed to have suspended all direct consumer advertising. Since the irresponsible promotion of infant formula has continued, Sen. Kennedy has asked the World Health Organization to examine the findings of the U. S. Senate hearings. WHO has agreed to host a conference to bring Third World health personnel, medical authorities, the industry and industry critics together in Geneva, Switzerland, in October, 1979. This three-day conference in Geneva could result in the development of a strong policy on formula marketing, and an enforceable international monitoring system to ensure that marketing codes and policies are enacted. The conference could result in an effective control over the indiscriminate and dangerous marketing of infant formula in developing countries. While many conferences have been held on this problem previously, this represents the first time that industry critics will be afforded an official role. It is also the first time that Third World health people can enter a conference on any issue related to hunger with a strong ally—a grass-roots campaign of growing reputation and international character. The products boycotted include the following: Nescafe, Nestea, Quik, Crunch chocolate bars, Taster's Choice and DeCaf coffee, Souptime, and the products of affiliates: Lib by, Stouffer, Crosse & Blackwell, Maggi, Swiss Knight cheese and Deer Park Mountain Spring Water. INFACT has received two large grants to encourage participation in the boycott. One grant, for $7,500, came from Ms. magazine, and one for $5,000 came from the Dominican Fathers, a portion of which was earmarked for Texas. Materials and representatives were sent to Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio to strengthen support against formula promotions. A new chapter of INFACT is being formed in Houston. Contact INFACT, 4415 O'Meara, Houston TX 77035, or call Judy Hopkinson at 721-6476. NOSTALGIC CLOTHING Ueite 452 W. 19th St. (inThe Heights) 868-3052 Open 11-6 Moa-Sat. -<5 Introducing the Oldsmobile of small cars... 1980 Omega The small car just grew up. 22 to 38 miles per gallon...from $4887.00 SAM WHITE OLDSMOBILE P.O. Box 36909 8301 Beechnut at Southwest Freeway Houston, Texas 77036 (713) 776-7800 KAY LITTLE K ] 776-7800 "Southern Broadcasting Company (KULF Radio) has immediate openings for experienced radio sales people. Sales experience in other related advertising fields may be acceptable. Apply by calling Jack Collins at 654-7900. KULF IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER" Cullen Women's Center S offers Pregnancy Testing Problem Pregnancy Counseling and information. Call 733-5421 Monday - Saturday 9-5 pm Houston Breakthrough 17 May 1979 ^