breastfeeding

Measuring economic progress: breastfeeding and lactation work, or the sex-and drug-trades as worldwide indicators of economic well-being

Map visualising data on the proportion of worldwide women’s earnings measured in local purchasing power, earned there. © Copyright Benjamin D. Hennig (Worldmapper Project)

For over half a century, the UN System of National Accounts (SNA) framework, centred on measuring Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has shaped how economies are viewed, economic performance is measured, and public policy priorities are set.

Confronting the formula feeding epidemic in a new era of trade and investment liberalisation

Author/s (editor/s):

Smith, J
Galtry, J
Salmon, L

Publication year:

2014

Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
http://australianpe.wix.com/japehome#!jape-73/c1vr8

Abstract:

Breastfeeding is rarely seen as an economic policy issue. Many view the idea of placing a dollar value on mothers’ milk as repugnant. Breastfeeding cannot be framed as simply an economic relationship. It is a complex, physiological, emotional and social relationship between mother and child, intricately related to the nature of the society, community and family in which they live. Furthermore, the ‘costs’ and ‘benefits’ of breastfeeding fall both on individuals and on society as a whole. Yet in a world where not valuing something in dollar terms means it is not valued at all, this economic invisibility can have major consequences for the ‘market’ for mother’s milk, for infant and maternal health and wellbeing, and for appropriate public policy.

Cite the publication as

Smith, J., J. Galtry and L. Salmon (2014). Confronting the formula feeding epidemic in a new era of trade and investment liberalisation. Journal of Australian Political Economy 73: 132-171.

Food security for infants and young children: an opportunity for breastfeeding policy?

Author/s (editor/s):

Salmon, L

Publication year:

2015

Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
https://internationalbreastfeedingjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13...

Abstract:

Background: Increased global demand for imported breast milk substitutes (infant formula, follow-on formula and toddler milks) in Asia, particularly China, and food safety recalls have led to shortages of these products in high income countries. At the same time, commodification and trade of expressed breast milk have fuelled debate about its regulation, cost and distribution. In many economies suboptimal rates of breastfeeding continue to be perpetuated, at least partially, because of a failure to recognise the time, labour and opportunity costs of breast milk production. To date, these issues have not figured prominently in discussions of food security. Policy responses have been piecemeal and reveal conflicts between promotion and protection of breastfeeding and a deregulated trade environment that facilitates the marketing and consumption of breast milk substitutes.

Discussion: The elements of food security are the availability, accessibility, utilization and stability of supply of nutritionally appropriate and acceptable quantities of food. These concepts have been applied to food sources for infants and young children: breastfeeding, shared breast milk and breast milk substitutes, in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) guidelines on infant feeding. A preliminary analysis indicates that a food security framework may be used to respond appropriately to the human rights, ethical, economic and environmental sustainability issues that affect the supply and affordability of different infant foods.

Summary: Food security for infants and young children is not possible without high rates of breastfeeding. Existing international and national instruments to protect, promote and support breastfeeding have not been implemented on a wide scale globally. These instruments need review to take into account the emerging trade environment that includes use of the internet, breast milk markets and globalised supply chains for breast milk substitutes. New approaches are required to handle the long-standing policy conflicts that surround infant and young child feeding. Placing breastfeeding in a food security framework may achieve the political attention and policy co-ordination required to accelerate breastfeeding rates in a range of economies.

Cite the publication as

Salmon, L. (2015). Food security for infants and young children: an opportunity for breastfeeding policy? International Breastfeeding Journal, 10(7).

Response to the Infant Nutrition Council Limited application for authorisation A91506 and A91507, Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula: Manufacturers and Importers Agreement (MAIF Agreement)

Author/s (editor/s):

Smith, Julie
Salmon, Libby
Baker, Phillip

Publication year:

2015

Publication type:

Submission

Cite the publication as

Smith, J, Salmon, L, Baker, P 2015, ‘Response to the Infant Nutrition Council Limited application for authorisation A91506 and A91507, Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula: Manufacturers and Importers Agreement (MAIF Agreement)’, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Canberra.

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Economics of work and breastfeeding

 Baby feet_Image: Bridget Coila (Flickr)

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