I am disappointed to see that the EU is using a baby bottle to illustrate the campaign in the forthcoming elections.
The presentation of this image is a clear violation of The International Code of Breastmilk Substitutes, a Code introduced to protect infant health. The Code provides minimum standards to be implemented in their entirety in all countries to protect breastfeeding and ensure breastmilk substitutes are used safely if they are needed.
According to the World Health Organisation 1.5 million infants die every year because they are not breastfed. While the risks of bottle feeding are greatest in areas of the world with hot climates, lacking refrigeration and adequate fuel to prepare the product safely, breastfeeding reduces the risk of illness in all countries. Even in the UK, a bottle-fed baby is up to ten times more likely to be admitted to hospital with gastro-intestinal illness than a breastfed one.
Using a bottle to represent family life undermines breastfeeding and supports the flagrant disregard for the Code displayed by the formula milk industry.
It is ironic that the EU is claiming to campaign on 'green' issues when bottle feeding is creating an environmental disaster!
I think that the EU should recognise their mistake and withdraw this poster immediately. It is depressing to think that they have totally failed to appreciate its inappropriateness.
I have e-mailed six of the seven Scottish MEPs to raise my concern. If you would like to, you can find them here.
I am not impressed with David Martin who does not provide an e-mail address and in fact the only Scottish contact is a PO Box address in Edinburgh.