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July 10, 2018 | Physical Abuse Inherent in Food Products Fed to Children

Danielle Park

Portfolio Manager and President of Venable Park Investment Counsel ( Ms Park is a financial analyst, attorney, finance author and regular guest on North American media. She is also the author of the best-selling myth-busting book "Juggling Dynamite: An insider's wisdom on money management, markets and wealth that lasts," and a popular daily financial blog:

This week brought news that the American delegation at the spring United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly in Geneva, at the behest of big food lobby in attendance, attempted to block a resolution calling on governments to  “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” as well as another passage calling on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that can have deleterious effects on young children. See Opposition to breast-feeding resolution by US shocks UN officials:

When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.

The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

The showdown over the issue was recounted by more than a dozen participants from several countries, many of whom requested anonymity because they feared retaliation from the United States.

Similar positions have been reported in recent North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations where American representatives have been pushing for languagelimiting the ability of Canada, Mexico and the United States to put warning labels on junk food and sugary beverages.

Meanwhile decades of research including a 2016 study published in The Lancet have confirmed that breast-milk prevents hundreds of thousands of child deaths a year across the globe and yields some $300 billion in savings from reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.

A Canadian study published in the Journal of Pediatrics finds (not surprisingly) that babies who were breastfed had different microbiomes, in their guts –- and lower obesity levels as they grew -– than babies who were primarily fed formula.  See Infant formula could change gut bacteria, contribute to childhood obesity–new study:

Obesity begins early, research has shown, and breastmilk is known to lower a baby’s risk of obesity as an adult.

“Breastmilk is a very specialized food –- not just for babies, but also for their gut bacteria. Breastmilk contains oligosaccharides, which are complex sugars that feed specific gut bacteria,” Dr. Meghan Azad, lead researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, told ABC News.

The study looks at a theory on why this happens: That “good” bacteria in babies’ digestive systems affects how they burn and store fat, as well as how they use energy.

As the world rejoices in the brave rescue of 12 children from a cave in Thailand today, one struggles to reconcile that with the systemic and daily abuse of children worldwide as the big food industry strip-mines health and our taxpayer funded sick-care system for short-term profits.

Big corporations are running global policies in a just-for-their-own profit-mandate at the expense of our sustainability as a species.  This cannot be allowed to continue.  This is not about vanity or fat-shaming.  The illness that bad food breeds is undermining our health, productivity and life quality now and for the future.  We must insist on fundamental changes to our food system and shift the cost of paying for all the harm being inflicted back onto the corporations who are causing it, rather than we, the people. We cannot afford to do otherwise.

Here is a direct video link to an ABC report on the obesity epidemic among our youth.

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July 10th, 2018

Posted In: Juggling Dynamite

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