Ha, a few of those views are mine! It's a debate that interests me.
I think it is unethical for hospitals to participate in formula marketing by handing out free samples and swag with brand names plastered all over it. But I also don't think it's the government's business to legislate whether hospitals/formula companies do it or not. I think if you're opposed to it, it's better to fight at a local level, putting pressure on the hospitals in your area to stop marketing formula to moms.
Excellent point! The petition reads:
We, the undersigned, call on Abbott (maker of Similac), Mead Johnson (maker of Enfamil) and Nestle (maker of Gerber), to stop distributing samples of infant formula in healthcare facilities, including hospitals and other medical clinics. The immediate end of this practice would be a crucial initial step to become fully compliant with the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
It is a petition asking three formula companies to cease to use this type of advertising and to comply with WHO guidelines for formula marketing. It is not about governments telling companies how to do business. It is calling a spade a spade and telling these formula companies that what they are doing is unethical and asking them to stop, for the good of children. All these arguments for choice for women and businesses really aren't applicable here. Nobody is trying to take away a woman's choice to formula feed, and this petition is not even trying to take away a business's choice to advertise how they want. The petition is to ask businesses to make a better choice.
ETA: link to petition
Edited by JMJ - 4/25/12 at 8:28am