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Nervous Parents In One Country Clear Supermarket Shelves In Another (npr.org)
80 points by septerr 1606 days ago | hide | past | web | 85 comments | favorite



There's a common belief in Poland that the very same goods (down to package/barcode) sold in countries west of it (Germany in particular) are much better in quality than the ones sold domestically. It's especially common when discussing cleaning chemicals - people believe that local products are diluted, or sth. I don't know whether this is a case of "grass is greener on the other side" or it is based on reality.

(And there's one exception to this I've heard of - some people believe here that Lipton tea brought from US tastes much, much worse than one bought locally ;)).


That's because Lipton is terrible. Seriously the lowest quality and worst tasting tea I have ever tasted anywhere.


There is one place in the US that has a tea culture, and it's an iced tea culture. Lipton would most likely sell tea that meets that demand and let's the rest of the tea drinkers cope than, even if it does make a cup of something not entirely unlike tea for people who were raised on the stuff.


Its a historical artifact. The US is the one country iced tea is consumed more than hot tea. This dates back to the revolution and the resentment of tea taxes that lead to coffee being the "patriot's drink". Iced tea became popular in the 1900's.


Be that as it may, I believe the comparison TeMPOral is talking about is Lipton in both cases.


I'm sure that Lipton would sell the lower quality tea in Poland as well, were it economical to do so.


I laughed when I read what you said. Lipton reminds me of when I would get sick as a child and that is what my mother gave me (this was back when Lipton was the tea there really wasn't much else around at that time.)


I still don't get why would anyone put sugar or other sweeteners in a tea?


Have you ever HAD sweet tea? Real, authentic, Southern sweet tea? The sugar is added while the water is near the boiling point, so it supersaturates.

If the answer is "no", then you have no goddamned idea what you're missing.


In the Czech Republic there is a similar common belief – that the goods that foreign compainies sell here are lower quality than what they sell in richer countries.


Often this just a matter of brand labels being slapped on whatever goods are available or manufacturable locally. The brand gets to enter a new market for cheap and the manufacturer gets to sell for a higher price without changing the product. The consumer gets...disappointed.


Brno resident here, I can whole-heartedly second this. I'm not sure why this is but I've seen and heard it plenty of times.


Same in Romania. It might be linked with our communist past. Back then some goods were not available to the public, they were only produced for export, but you could still get stuff that was 'refused for export' if you knew the right people.



IN case of cleaning chemicals, they seem to dilute in Europe from west to east… germans think theirs are diluted and by in spain.


That's especially stupid considering Poland is in the European Union and should have pretty much the same food regulatory oversight as Germany has.


I'm sure the sentiment is deeply rooted from the time when Poland was controlled by the Soviets.


I think that regulatory oversight happens on the national level, at least in Czechia it does. An also, food can be low quality but ok from regulatory point of view (fast food, some non-organic food, etc.).


Food control in the European Union is done at the national level, but the member countries coordinate a lot. Also the EU parliament puts up the regulation that has to be transformed into national law.


>(And there's one exception to this I've heard of - some people believe here that Lipton tea brought from US tastes much, much worse than one bought locally ;)).

Could this be because the US version is sweetened with HFCS instead of the beet sugar used here in Europe? I've heard similar things of American colas.


Lipton tea doesn't necessarily mean pre-sweetened. They also sell bags. It does not seem at all unlikely to me that Lipton pushes lower quality tea in the US market than in markets where people are used to higher quality.


...And people in Belarus think food bought in Poland is better than local.

...And people in Russia think fool imported from Belarus is better than local (probably true)


some consumer agencies actually agree that products for some countries are lower quality http://www.euractiv.com/consumers/food-products-lower-qualit...


There was a very mediatised incident in Japan a few years ago [1], with toxic substance getting into frozen food packages.

As public opinion was focused on the issue, a lot reporting got done on the general practicies of the chinese factories in the food industry, and some of them were having a 'low cost' line with simpler quality checks for domestic foods, and a 'high profile' line with increased checks and attention to sanity for goods to be exported.

A lot of it was sensationnalized I supposed, but there still seemed to be a radically different thinking about food quality on the manufactoring side.

[1] http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2008/03/05/business/jt-to-t...


I bought 20+ cans Aptamil online from an international student at a nearly double higher price than it is in Germany supermarket last year,although my wife gave sufficient breast milk to my son.Yes I am a nervous parent too.There were so many babies poisoned by milk powder in China.No one really trust manufacturers and Gov of China,even those officials themselves. You know,there is only one market on this little planet.Those manufacturers produce best products survive and get stronger. They can buy Gov and the Gov can deceive or even threaten people,but what if everyone buy nothing from them?


The situation where shelves are cleared and shipped to China happens here in New Zealand. What's interesting about it is that the scandal of contaminated milk started with a subsidiary of Fonterta, called Sanlu. Fonterra blew the whistle on their crappy practices. So people get product from New Zealand, to avoid buying from part of the same company. Our favourite source. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fonterra


On the other hand, probably the one safest food in China right now is probably milk powder. People have been jailed and executed over it, and officials at all levels have no interest in loosing face again.


No. The milk industry is still a mess, only some scapegoats got executed. Officials don't care about face.

But at least we've moved on from bad milk to bad bottled water.


Except there is no regulation in the USA.

You think there is regulation but congress has defunded all inspection so it barely happens.

That fertilizer plant that exploded was last inspected in the EIGHTIES.

It's just that lawsuits are easier in the USA so that might cause food manufacturers to behave better.

Plus I am starting to see food and supplements now made/grown in China on the shelves in the USA. So how much regulation you think each batch gets? I'd guess something close to zero.

But when congress needs to fly home, well then they will fund things like air-traffic controllers so they do not have to wait on the tarmac like everyone else.


Except there is no regulation in the USA.

The submitted article is about food products consumed by infants (and is about the U.K. and China, mostly). Your statement "there is no regulation in the USA" is categorically false in regard to food products to be consumed by infants.

http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/product-specificinformati...


Don't eat packaged food. Definitely don't feed it to babies. They are not a pet fish.


Baby won't breast feed - what are you supposed to do? When you've been in the situation it's easier to understand.


>It's just that lawsuits are easier in the USA so that might cause food manufacturers to behave better.

On the other hand, the 2008 melamine scandal in China resulted in executions.


While I am against any governments executing people, it sure would be nice to see decision making executives serve time here instead of just paying a fine.

I mean BP simply paid a fine for all the people they killed. Not one executive even lost a night of sleep, or their vacation home. And I suspect people who buy their products are actually paying for the fine over time, so basically everyone but BP is paying for what they did.


Pull yourself together, your posts are easily proven factually wrong and your garbage posts are destroying HN.

In addition to BP's $4billion criminal settlement, BP executives were individually indicted for manslaughter and other crimes, and many of the subcontractors also face charges:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/11/15/bp-n...


It's pretty melodramatic to tell someone that their posts are "destroying HN", not to mention rude. Why not just politely cite your evidence instead of tearing someone down?


In Germany the milk powder already gets rationed by super market chains.

On the face of it, Germans will complain a lot louder and harder about their food security than Chinese people do, but actually we have very tough regulation that works better than pretty much everywhere else in the world, let alone China...


If that fertilizer plant had been inspected a month ago, do you think that it would have prevented the explosion?


If it was inspected more regularly I'd imagine the chances of it exploding would have been reduced.


The Texas plant was fined by federal regulators in 2006.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/18/fertili...

A better question is why local zoning failed to keep the plant away from homes, and why their insurance company wasn't more concerned about conditions at the plant.


Technically, it should have been zoning restrictions keeping homes away from the plant. The town of West actually grew up around that plant - it essentially didn't exist until after the plant opened.


And maybe a little of what Texans like to call "common sense." Of course, you'd need to have enough education to know that fertilizer can explode. Having grown up not too far from West, I can see how the same thing could have happened in my home town, or might still happen in many other towns like West.


Buying Chinese made products has always got me a little on edge, mainly just due to their lack of regulation. I was going to buy a reasonably well known miniature camera recently, but was completely put off when I read a note by some other purchasers who had somehow realised that the case of the camera contained insane amounts of lead. I wasn't particularly impressed by the recommendation that they're fine to use, just don't let your children touch it and wash your hands afterwards.

Things like this seem to pop up with alarming frequency.


Exactly what danger did you believe there would be in touching something containing lead?

Leaded gas was done away with because you could breath in the fumes, because the gas was, you know, incinerated and released the lead in fumes. Leaded paint was removed from homes, not because touching the paint was bad, not because having it was bad but because children were eating the paint chips. Lead piping was again a problem because of drinking water with lead now in it.

So unless you were planning on inhaling or eating the camera, what danger did you think there was from it.


Contact with lead leaves it on your skin, and people tend to pick up food with their fingers. It was always mentioned to me at school to wash my hands after handeling solder (which is tin + lead), and I assumed that the same would apply here. Without doing any more research into the stuff, I would much rather just spend a few more dollars and get one that is not going to poison me.


A recent article in Mother Jones[0] suggested that lead is much more dangerous than we ever realized, and even blamed it on the rise in crime in the US.

[0]http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-li...


Keeping it away from children was probably still a good idea. Little children have a penchant for putting things in their mouths.


Babies shouldn't be eating crap that comes in a package anyway. They should be drinking breast milk, and eventually graduate to eggs (not the plastic kind) and normal human food.


Many children can't be breast fed or have mothers who are unable to. Don't generalize.


  Suboptimum breastfeeding still accounts for an 
  estimated 1.4 million deaths in children under 
  five annually 
http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/index_breastfeeding.html


Where most of these are just a subtype of malnutrition, if I don't miss my guess. If they only counted babies who die because they are fed with the adequate amount of formula instead of breastfeeding, that number would probably be vanishingly small. Unfortunately, the cited paper is not freely available, so I cannot check.


… a subtype of malnutrition related to not breastfeeding enough.

See my other post for some examples of the research that's been done in the area of infant mortality and insufficient breastfeeding:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5619120


Yeah, Rayiner's response seems to fairly well reflect my thoughts on your citations.


Breast milk versus formula is an intensely studied issue, and despite all the study the proven advantages of breastfeeding are extremely tenuous. WHO recommendations to breastfeed have far more to do with poor water quality in developing countries than health benefits of breast milk over formula.

See: http://www.ntnu.edu/news/breastfeeding, http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/are-the-benefi..., http://jhppl.dukejournals.org/content/32/4/595.full.pdf+html, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1200943/So-breast-..., http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-02/breast-feeding-is-n..., http://www.halfsigma.com/2007/11/breastfeeding-d.html

From the last article: "In one analysis of multiple studies, combining data from more than 5,000 children, the IQ differences associated with breast-feeding were eliminated when the mothers’ characteristics were taken into account. Among 332 pairs of siblings in which one was breast-fed and the other bottle-fed, researchers also found no difference in IQ."

At the same time, breastfeeding is insanely expensive. It is insanely difficult for a working woman to breastfeed, and breastfeeding makes it extremely difficult to share the child-rearing burden between the mom and the dad.

Like with most recommendations having to do with child-rearing, those involving breastfeeding are both unscientific and aren't subject to cost-benefit analysis. Given the extremely tenuous proven benefits of breastfeeding, a baby is almost certainly better off in the long run from the mom's increased earning power from not having to downshift her career to breastfeed.


"The risk of developing either diarrhea or ear infection increased as the amount of breast milk an infant received decreased."

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/99/6/e5.short

"The crude incidence density ratio (IDR) revealed a protective effect of breast-feeding on respiratory illnesses (IDR=0.66; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.52 to 0.83), on gastrointestinal illnesses (IDR=0.53; 95% CI, 0.27 to 1.04) and on all illnesses (IDR=0.67; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.82)."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7844664

"Overall, children who were ever breastfed had 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.67–0.93) times the risk of never breastfed children for dying in the postneonatal period"

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/113/5/e435.sho...

"Infants exclusively breastfed ‘at discharge from the obstetric hospital’ (odds ratio [OR]=0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI):0.35–0.71) and during the last 2 days (OR=0.65, 95% Cl:0.46–0.91) had a significantly lower risk of SIDS than infants not breastfed after controlling for potential confounders."

http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/5/885.short

"Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) may substantially reduce breastfeeding-associated HIV transmission."

http://journals.lww.com/aidsonline/Abstract/2005/04290/Early...

Exclusive Breastfeeding Reduces Acute Respiratory Infection and Diarrhea Deaths Among Infants in Dhaka Slums

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/108/4/e67.shor...

Breastfeeding improves survival, but not nutritional status, of 12-35 months old children in rural Bangladesh.

http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/2606091/reload=0;jsessioni...


> "The risk of developing either diarrhea or ear infection increased as the amount of breast milk an infant received decreased."

Yes, but by less than a factor of 2 for a digestive condition that, while a killer in the developing world, is at most an inconvenience in the developed world.

> "The crude incidence density ratio (IDR) revealed a protective effect of breast-feeding on respiratory illnesses (IDR=0.66; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.52 to 0.83), on gastrointestinal illnesses (IDR=0.53; 95% CI, 0.27 to 1.04) and on all illnesses (IDR=0.67; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.82)."

It's interesting that you leave out this part of the text: "The protective effect of breast-feeding on respiratory illnesses persisted even after adjustment for age of the infant, socioeconomic class, maternal age, and cigarette consumption (adjusted IDR = 0.78; 95% CI, 0.61 to 1.00)." There is no reason to ever report IDRs not adjusted for socioeconomic class, maternal age, and cigarette consumption, because breastfeeding rates are not uniform among these groups. So the first set of numbers is meaningless. An IDR of 0.78 is not a big benefit. It means that if something happens to bottle fed infants 10% of the time, it'll happen to breastfed infants about 8% of the time. And remember, this is just the first six months of life--the available studies show these sorts of effects diminishing as the child gets older.

> "Infants exclusively breastfed ‘at discharge from the obstetric hospital’ (odds ratio [OR]=0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI):0.35–0.71) and during the last 2 days (OR=0.65, 95% Cl:0.46–0.91) had a significantly lower risk of SIDS than infants not breastfed after controlling for potential confounders."

The number of babies that die of SIDS each year in the U.S. is about 2,500 out of 4,000,000+ births each year. With an OR of 0.65, we're talking about a roughly 0.075% risk versus a 0.050% risk. For comparison, your child has a 1.2% chance of ever dying in a car accident.

> "Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) may substantially reduce breastfeeding-associated HIV transmission."

This is the only one of the lot that's actually worth talking about. We're talking about OR's of 2.5-4 for something that has an overall incidence rate of 12.1%. So if you're HIV positive, exclusively breastfeeding can substantially reduce your chances of transmitting the virus to your child.

Your Bangladesh (my home country!) example is irrelevant to people in the developed world. The water in Bangladesh is full of arsenic and disease. Of course breastfed infants, who don't drink the water, are going to be much healthier than bottle fed infants who do.


"And remember, this is just the first six months of life--the available studies show these sorts of effects diminishing as the child gets older."

Sure. Your area of concern seems to be the over-selling of breast-feeding in the developed world. Mine is the over-selling of infant formula in the developing world, including China, to the point of people never breastfeeding their infants. The above was a fairly cursory attempt to find a few examples of recent, post advertising ban, research on the subject.

By the way, you may not be aware of this, but the Daily Mail is a tabloid and the author of:

http://jhppl.dukejournals.org/content/32/4/595.full.pdf+html

is a professor of Women's Studies.


A lot of those links completely ignored caveats he said. The Bangladesh one in particular is DIRECTLY addressed in the comment you're replying to.


Is breastmilk generally better than formula? Yes.

However this is not a black-and-white issue, particularly in the Developing World. Some mothers cannot produce sufficient breastmilk for their offspring. Others cannot always be available to feed their offspring (and a care giver must do so) - as they must work to feed and shelter their children.

There are many and varied reasons why formula is actively needed to better, and even save the lives of children.


I imagine you won't get much support with that comment, but you're absolutely right.

Everyone responding to you is going to say mothers can't breastfeed. Bullshit. Only perhaps 5% of mothers can't breastfeed because of medical conditions. 71% of babies in China aren't breastfed. Do you see a discrepancy here? Framing it in terms of being physically unable to breastfeed is disingenuous.

Among other reasons, women aren't breastfeeding because they are being misinformed and marketed to by corporations. It really is ridiculous when poor families who have a free way to feed their children are putting in the time and expense to get subpar nutrition from overseas.

>However, Save the Children said in its report that a quarter of mothers in China have received gifts from dairy companies, while 40% were given samples of baby formula from companies including Nestle, Wyeth and Mead Johnson.

>The British group also found that 16 out of 35 food shops in six Chinese cities had promoted breast milk substitutes through salespersons, posters or gifts.

>Save the Children said such marketing has resulted in the percentage of breastfeeding mothers in East Asia and the Pacific to drop from 2006's 45% to 2012's 29%.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=2013...

>But even Wolynn, who is also a certified lactation consultant, seemed skeptical when I related Kelly's tale -- usually women struggle because they haven't had enough support in the first few days after giving birth, in his experience. "Very few women really can't breastfeed," he said. "That's very, very, uncommon." It's a "normal mammalian function," he said. Almost everyone can do it.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/03/health/medical-breastfeeding


He's totally not right. He's regurgitating intensely unscientific hippie bullshit (the technical term for it is appeal to nature fallacy). See the articles in my other post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5618299

> It really is ridiculous when poor families who have a free way to feed their children are putting in the time and expense to get subpar nutrition from overseas.

Breastfeeding is only free if a woman's time has no value. This is especially relevant in poor families where women have to get back to working as quickly as possible to help support the family.


I'm breastfeeding my first child, who is now six months. Breastfeeding is extraordinarily convenient and time efficient when I compare it to my friends using formula. I can just sit down and feed him. My friends have to bring formula, water and bottles everywhere. Then they have to mix it, and wash the bottles. And they have less hands free while doing the actual feeding. This is especially true at his 6 am wake up feeding, which I can do while sleeping.

I do work full time, and I have to pump twice a day. Which makes it less convenient. But it takes less than 15 minutes each time. I'm fortunate to have a very flexible work environment though.

It's true his father can't help with the feedings this way, but there are plenty of chores to go around.


We're mostly bottle feeding our 5 month old right now. She eats a lot (97th percentile height and weight), and there is no way pumping just twice a day would be enough. She tried to breastfeed and pump from day one, and it would take her forever just to get a couple of ounces out.

The baby still wakes up to eat twice at night, and I take the night feedings. It's a huge benefit for us to be able to do that, because my wife needs 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep to function the next day, while I don't. As for other chores, they're trivial and easily outsourced. If I couldn't take on some of the feedings, I just wouldn't be carrying my weight.

And for a career woman, starting out from day 1 with the husband taking a lesser role in child-rearing is a sure way to become the primary care giver and the one who will ultimately have to downshift if push comes to shove.

I'm glad it works for you, but it would be very inconvenient for us, and given the tenuous medical benefits of doing so it isn't worth it to try and make it work. And I think if doctors encouraged women, especially women with careers, to evaluate the costs and benefits of breastfeeding rationally instead of regurgitating highly unscientific dreck the way they do, a lot more women would bottle feed without feeling guilty about it.

What grates on me is that a lot of people who breastfeed make other decisions that endanger their children, totally guilt free. Living in a suburban area where driving is a necessity and it is common for teenagers to drive is going to have more of a practical impact on your child than whether you breastfeed or not.


I'm fully supportive of parents doing whatever is right for their families, and I don't think there's anything wrong with formula.

I think that the breastfeeding advocates frequently don't mention how hard that first month of breastfeeding is, because they think it might be discouraging. But it is much, much harder than breastfeeding once it is established. Even if it goes perfectly, it feels like you are chained to the baby. To add to that, I had a lot of trouble the first two weeks, which was incredibly frustrating. Luckily, we got to see an amazing lactation consultant at Kaiser and it worked out.

So people start supplementing during the first month, and don't get to see how responsive to demand lactation is once supply is established. My son is 99th percentile, 29 inches and 22 pounds at 6 months. I pump about 18 oz a day for him in the two sessions, and that's a slight oversupply.

It's wonderful you were able to share night duties, that part was very hard on me. I don't think it's true that other chores are trivial though, the baby needs constant supervision, holding, diapering, etc, which my husband does a lot of. He also does most of the feeding of solids since we started that a few weeks ago.

I don't really think breastfeeding is any cheaper for us though, nursing bras and pumps are really expensive too.


You are lucky. For my wife it was painful, incredibly slow - 45 mins, and occurred every 2 hours for 3 months when our daughter just refused to have any more. Formula wasn't a choice we wanted but it sure was easier for my wife.


Most of the articles you have linked, as far as I can tell, say the case for breastfeeding has been overstated (fine, more controlled studies need to be done) but a benefit still exists. You are overstating your case.

>(the technical term for it is appeal to nature fallacy).

A couple hundred million years of evolution is just a hippie fantasy, I guess. If the evidence isn't there, fine, but I can't for the life of me understand how the null hypothesis among hackers is always natural = bad.

>Breastfeeding is only free if a woman's time has no value.

First, why couldn't they pump? Are you saying they don't have time for pumping, but they can afford child care and formula? These people are buying formula from overseas. From a quick search, it appears western families are paying $100-$200+/month (that doesn't include shipping) for formula and I'm not convinced poor Chinese workers are earning much (if any) more than that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_in_China


> Most of the articles you have linked, as far as I can tell, say the case for breastfeeding has been overstated (fine, more controlled studies need to be done) but a benefit still exists. You are overstating your case.

I didn't say there were no proven advantages to breastfeeding. I said that advantages to breastfeeding that have been proven are extremely tenuous (thin). There have been a ton of controlled studies on breastfeeding--it's not an area that's lacking in data. What the studies have proven is that, once you control for the fact that higher-income mothers are more likely to breastfeed, the benefits from breastfeeding are minor.

>(the technical term for it is appeal to nature fallacy). A couple hundred million years of evolution is just a hippie fantasy, I guess.

That's exactly what the "appeal to nature" fallacy is.

> If the evidence isn't there, fine, but I can't for the life of me understand how the null hypothesis among hackers is always natural = bad.

You're confused about what the situation is. It is not that "we don't know enough about the advantages of breastfeeding, so we'll assume that natural = bad." It's that "we do know about the advantages of breastfeeding, and they are tenuous, and therefore we should balance those minor benefits against the costs of breastfeeding."

> First, why couldn't they pump? Are you saying they don't have time for pumping, but they can afford child care and formula?

Most women produce less milk pumping than breastfeeding, and pumping enough milk during the day to feed the baby through the next day is a huge hassle because it's time consuming and you have to do it several times a day to get enough supply. Most women don't have the luxury of taking multiple 15-20 minute breaks to pump (especially in a country without worker protection regulations like China). Also, lactating in work clothes is a pain in the ass.

> These people are buying formula from overseas. From a quick search, it appears western families are paying $100-$200+/month (that doesn't include shipping) for formula and I'm not convinced poor Chinese workers are earning much (if any) more than that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_in_China

These are obviously not people in China making minimum wage who are shipping in formula from overseas. These are middle class people. And for them, as for most working mothers in the U.S., child care and formula does indeed eat up most of the wages from working. Mother continue to do it because some money coming in is better than no money coming in, and because taking time off work to raise children is a career-ender. Employers treat a mother who took a year off to raise kids even worse, if that's possible, than someone who was unemployed for a whole year because they couldn't find a job (and see the recent HN thread about what a disaster long-term unemployment is even without the stigma attached to motherhood).


Scientists also once thought the Earth was flat. All matters of health and nutrition should factor in biological anthropology (hippie bullshit, apparently).

That kid that you don't breastfeed is going to end being more expensive in the future, when his/her grades aren't as good as the kids who were breastfed, ends up getting a lower paying job, and ends up with a higher chance of getting a disease.


> Scientists also once thought the Earth was flat.

"Science" has only existed in its current form (empirical science) for the last 600 years or so, while the knowledge that the earth is round goes back to ancient times.

> All matters of health and nutrition should factor in biological anthropology (hippie bullshit, apparently).

I can't think of anything more deserving of the title "hippie bullshit" than anything anthropology related, and especially "biological anthropology" which is as far as I can tell an oxymoron or at least the worst sort of snake-oil, cargo-cult pseudo-science (http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm).

> That kid that you don't breastfeed is going to end being more expensive in the future, when his/her grades aren't as good as the kids who were breastfed, ends up getting a lower paying job, and ends up with a higher chance of getting a disease

That would be relevant to the cost benefit analysis if it were true, but the evidence shows that the health benefits, while statistically significant, are not meaningful in magnitude. How much money you spend on an SAT tutor is going to have a bigger impact on your kid's life than whether you breast feed or bottle feed.


Companies that market these products is what bothers me the most. I read somewhere that some women in Africa were feeding their babies Coca Cola because they thought it was healthier than breast milk.


So we should just let those whoes mothers died or are unable to produce enough milk starve to death?


Please avoid reddit-style extremism.

OP said: "They should .."

Emphasis on the "SHOULD". He didn't say "nothing but breast milk, and I don't give a damn if the babies die"

Creating a straw man for your someone signifies only one thing. Your bias, extremism, and inability to treat your "opponent" as human.


And how many babies have you breastfed?


When it comes to discussing legislation being voted on in a countries legislative body, will you be asking, "And how many laws have you voted on?"


Erm, he isn't expressing a right to vote here, he is telling others what they should do (without any supporting facts, reason or evidence).

In your analogy, he isn't the voter, but the legislator, and it's perfectly valid to ask the question "and how many laws have you passed?"


1. You don't know if shanev is male or female. It's ridiculous to think that someone can't make statements about breastfeeding unless they are a female.

2. shanev's post was expressing an opinion of whether or not breastfeeding is superior to formula-feeding. Is someone not allowed to have an opinion on the subject matter?

3. shanev did not 'command' anyone to do anything. He/she is stating the babies should be breastfed, which, in the context of the post, is just an opinion.


There was a news story last week here in Portugal saying basically the same. Some supermarkets ran out of formula since there was a big Chinese committee here and bought them all to take/ship home.

I also know a lot of folks that work in Angola, and whenever they come here, they buy some products (baby formula included) like they own a boarding school or something. 3-4 car trunks full of stuff to send over.


In the Netherlands, Chinese investors are building a factory to produce baby formula that will export the baby formula back to China. There are in fact limits to how much baby formula you can buy in Dutch supermarkets due to the Chinese demand. I'm always amazed at how money flows, to where profits can be made.


If anyone here is qualified to facilitate testing milk powder, please get in touch and I'll send samples from China. email milktrust@hushmail.com

I'm not going to publicly list my HN id or email. I would like to participate in getting useful information to the public. Not just milk. If you have other food products you can help test, I'll see what I can do to get samples.


OTOH Hersheys chocolate syrup made in India (by Godrej) tastes better than the imported US version. Don't know why, iirc the main difference in ingredients was invert sugar in the Indian version and hfcs in the US version, or maybe it's the quality of the other ingredients.


One Christmas we had some Hershey's Kisses from both the US and Canada. Both tasted different. It's been a while, so I don't remember which I preferred or what the taste difference was (i.e. if one was sweeter than the other).


Neither of these are surprising. Hershey's makes very low quality products, so I would expect them to use whatever ingredients are cheapest locally.


But the same food really IS different across borders. There was a test of Coca-Cola published, within 8 close countries of European Union, each had different composition (esp. type and amount of sugar):

http://i.sme.sk/cdata/5/58/5843725/800-med.jpg

I remember a similar test done with Milka chocolate, the content was even different on the packaging label, only the artwork on the front was the same.


This is exactly why we should be happy when the quality of life in other countries improves, it gives those people an opportunity a chance to buy higher quality goods and is a net benefit to importers and exporters. So I don't want to hear "They took our jerrrrbbbs",because they will also start providing new ones.


Of course it is illegal to poison babies in China. It was before 2008 as well. That didn't stop greedy idiots from trying to enrich themselves by poisoning people. It didn't stop at baby formula either. It was also discovered to be common that milk was adulterated with melamine.




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