Recent study: milk fat or vegetable?

Maureen MinchinCommentary, Infant Formula, Milk Matters

Milk Matters argues that industry knows its infant formula products are deeply flawed, which helps explain the pressure to try to improve them. This is confirmed by two recent pieces reported in Splash!, the newsletter of the Milk Genomics Consortium, an industry-funded group. Its April 2015 issue tells of an experimental formula with decreased protein and energy and added milk fat globule membranes (yes, vegetable oils in formula were a bad idea compared with milk fat). It is touted as preventing infections, though what it indicates is that current formulas positively encourage infections. And the other article confirms the presence in women’s milk of factors that actively facilitate repair and renewal of damaged tissue.

Only by reading industry literature can one hope to stay current with scientific research – because industry pays for almost all of that research. But it is necessary to wear industry-proof perspectives when reading such literature, translating the proof of improved outcomes from an experimental formula few children have ever tasted, into proof of the adverse effects of current infant formulas all children are now exposed to, for example. The fact that a future formula may be better simply says that what we now have is worse than it might be. The fact remains that no industrial product can ever match the unique biological fluid we women produce. Industry studies which compare only formulas and omit control groups of breastfed children are tacit proof that industry does not want to be compared with the real thing, because it can only fail. And its failures mean sickness and disease lifelong. And into the next generations.