Reacting to a report from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media which called for a moratorium on the advertising of formula milk Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly said that:
“Ireland’s low rates of breastfeeding are not an accident. We are a large exporter of dairy formula milk. Advertising works and this is the only reason that companies invest.”
“All mothers should have choices around how to feed their babies, with the support of expert healthcare professionals. Advertising products does nothing to support that choice as it actually damages the rates of breastfeeding. And this country has dismally low rates of breastfeeding. These formula companies mimic health promotion in their advertising and that is something that we cannot support”.
“Quite apart from the health implications, increasing or even stabilising the formula market is doing huge damage to our environment.”
Fianna Fail TD Jackie Cahill and FG Senator Tim Lombard expressed outrage at the report from the committee this week.
On twitter O’Reilly responded saying that:
“Politicians who defend the advertising of breast milk substitutes should take a look at themselves. Our chronically low breastfeeding rates are no accident. The entire purpose is to expand or stabilise the formula market share, which means reducing the market share of breasts”