Sunday, March 13, 2011

Government urged to boost breastfeeding campaign

ANTI-toxic group, EcoWaste Coalition, called on the National Government and the Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday to reinforce the campaign for breastfeeding among babies.

The organization said there is a need to strengthen, if not reiterate, the government's push for breastfeeding promotion among mothers.

"We beg for a more vigorous promotion of breastfeeding to ensure infant access to breast milk, which is the most complete and ecological baby food," said EcoWaste.

Two weeks ago, the DOH lamented the continued low prevalence of breastfeeding in the country despite the continued promotion for it by the government.

Based on the 2008 National Demographic Health Survey, only 34 percent of Filipino mothers have observed exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of their newborns' life

The figure is not a far cry from the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) figures that showed a 37 percent breastfeeding rate in the country back in 2003.

Aside from increasing the number of breastfeeding rate, the EcoWaste said it will also lessen chances of exposing babies to feeding bottles containing bisphenol A (BPA), which is considered a toxic chemical.

The group said this is the main reason why they are also calling for a recall of baby feeding bottles.

"We call upon President Benigno Aquino III to follow the European Union's example and waste no time in banning BPA-laced baby bottles from being produced and traded in the country," said the EcoWaste.

Under the European Commission Directive 2011/8/EU, member states shall prohibit from March 1, 2011 the manufacture of BPA-containing baby bottles, as well as prohibit from June 1, 2011 the placing on the EU market of BPA-added plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs.

The EcoWaste noted that the BPA is an industrial chemical widely used in the production of polycarbonate plastics

If heated and exposed to infants, the group said it may interfere with natural hormone functions and potentially harm the development of young children.


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