Tuesday, September 27, 2011

IFC Responds to Study on Hospital Trends on Formula Giveaways

According to the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog, fewer hospitals are sending formula packs home with new moms. In 2007 only 14% of hospitals were sample-free. An updated study shows that number is now 28%.

Now the same researchers — from the Boston Medical Center — have revisited the issue to see if there’s been any improvement. They looked specifically at the 10 states with the best records in the previous study and the 10 with the worst, figuring that’s where changes would likely be most apparent. Of the 1,239 hospitals they re-surveyed, 28% were sample-free in 2010.
“We’ve seen an improvement, but it’s not great,” Anne Merewood, senior author of the study and associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, tells the Health Blog.

Apparently, there’s a “tipping point phenomenon” according to Anne Merewood, when a percentage of hospitals change their policies in regards to their formula giveaways, other hospitals usually follow suit. In 2007,  New York City public hospitals ended their formula giveaways.

Now what I found interesting about this article is that the International Formula Council responded to the study.  First off…International Formula Council?? Never knew a council for formula existed…and international at that!

And yes, they basically speak out against the study, I guess they’re too busy watching dollar amounts go down with each hospital that changes it’s policy, and their in a bit of a panic mode because they say this…

“…Hospital discharge packs provide key educational materials, which may include an infant formula sample -- directing moms to the right type of formula and to proper use and storage instructions, if needed.”- Read full statement here.

I haven’t formula-fed my babies, but don’t they have those instructions listed on the packaging? Are instructions so complex that hospitals are required to send home free formula and subsequent information? So much for “trusting moms to make right choices for their babies”, as they say in their statement, apparently they can’t be trusted to read and follow directions.  If that’s not enough, here’s a kicker…

“Research shows there is a clear need as well as a strong desire from moms for hospital discharge bags containing infant feeding educational materials and formula samples.”

Interesting…clearly an organization that believes BPA in bottles are “safe”  are spokesman of a mom’s “strong desire”.

FDA reiterated BPA is safe in all of its current uses and noted that families should not change their infant feeding practices, including the use of infant formula. FDA added “the benefit of a stable source of good nutrition outweighs the potential risk from BPA exposure.”

In the meantime, FDA is taking steps to help reduce human exposure to BPA, including facilitating the development for alternatives to the linings of metal cans for liquid infant formulas. – Read more here.

BPA is safe, yet steps are being taken to reduce exposure….hmmmm…

 

 

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Sources:

FDA Reaffirms Safety of BPA

IFC Statement on Pediatrics Study

Wall Street Journal Health Blog – Fewer Hospitals Sending Formula Samples Home With New Parents

Wall Street Journal Health Blog -  FDA: BPA in Plastic Bottles Isn’t a Health Hazard

 

 

 

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