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Jezebel likes formula samples; please respond - Page 3

post #41 of 79

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelorum View Post



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:

Quote:

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
post #42 of 79

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

 And the idea of moms choosing to formula-feed and wanting the samples is, I think, the point at which this thread veered off topic (and it wouldn't be the first thread at MDC that did winky.gif ).

Here's where we disagree.  I don't think anyone arguing against the FREE samples is confused or off topic.  That is the topic.  And frankly the cutsey winky guy and the implication that we can't ever discuss things we don't agree with is insulting.

 

It kind of reminds me of a guy saying "Well, you know how women are!"

 

post #43 of 79

^^^ Some people seem to have had problems with the way the topic of this thread had gone. I'm not one of those people. I noticed that nobody was upset about it being off-topic until the "MDC isn't natural enough" (which never ends well) got brought into the thread, and then everybody started trying to bring the thread back "on topic". I was merely pointing out that if it was off-topic, that's hardly unusual and that doesn't make it bad. You'll notice my "wink" was about the idea of the thread being off-topic, rather than about the topic of the thread.

 

I don't relish the role of the "bad guy" of this thread, and it's starting to really upset me. Previously this was a discussion with different views, but the point at which it turns into picking apart everything I say is the point at which my own mental balance suggests I'd be better off not reading it anymore.

post #44 of 79

what about cost here?  headscratch.gif

 

IF the formula companies don't kick in the freebies who will pay for it?

 

You will always have those for non-medical reasons that will not BF- plain and simple no matter what you want to push, you will have those who can't for medical reasons and STILL their insurance (if they have it) won't cover the cost- so who gets the real bill here?

 

Are those opposed to this just thinking all can afford it on top of a really high medical bill? 

 

Do those who oppose this really think those on assistance will just pay out of pocket in the hospitable for formula or that WIC is somehow a freebie? 

 

So we push to end this and in the end rather you like it or not you will most likely be paying for it via increase to your taxes yet no out cry for big pharm that does give out meds for free but this we want stopped?

post #45 of 79

who pays for any patient to eat a meal in hospital?

 

cost of marketing samples is incorporated into price of formula. anyone feeding with formula is paying for these samples. many generic brands are cheaper than the samples given out in swag bags.

post #46 of 79

 

 

Quote:
who pays for any patient to eat a meal in hospital?

 

 

I paid for my own via what I pay for my insurance - it's wasn't a freebie- room cost- real to me!

 

who ever is paying the room is paying the meal cost?---- in my state- I AM paying for the mother who doesn't have insurance and is on assistance- so with everyone else

 

 

still does not answer what I asked- why make me pay more??? just because you want generic handed out- I don't get this at all- who do you want to pay for this?

 

the formula is donated (by the company)- not the cost of the hospitable and so far, not my tax dollars

 

 

ETA- I get "samples" freebies all the time from corporations wanting me to buy their product (as others have also said) I have never received a generic sample of anything. Medical samples are handed out all the time and food samples were also thrown in my swag hospitable bag as well- I am one that sees no problem here except others wanting to make the cost much higher and others having to foot MORE of the hugh tax bill and I don't get this mentality at all. 

 

and can some one explain or show "generic" formula? I have seen "store brand" but that really is not generic- it's still loyalty to a corporation but yet this is some how to be different? I also don't even know of any speciality formula that is not made by a formula company- how is that type to be handed out?


Edited by serenbat - 4/25/12 at 12:24pm
post #47 of 79

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slmommy View Post

cost of marketing samples is incorporated into price of formula. anyone feeding with formula is paying for these samples.

 

So are taxpayers since their tax dollars fund WIC. 

post #48 of 79

 

 

Quote:
So are taxpayers since their tax dollars fund WIC. 

 

 

Taxpayers are not paying for the "swag" bags-so far, do away with that and that will be more the taxpayer is asked to foot.

post #49 of 79

I don't get the logic here.  No formula sample is "free".  The user of that brand of "donated" formula pays more per can/bottle because the companies give these bags away.  If they didn't give away the free samples, the cost could be lower for each can/bottle making it easier to afford.

 

I think bringing WIC up has nothing to do with this.  If someone needs assistance, they should get it and, yes, the taxes pay for it.  I have no problem with that.  

post #50 of 79

I dont really understand this either. 

I wonder how many samples go unused, expire, get thrown away, etc. that would be a waste. 

Wouldn't it be more cost efficient to just have formula to those who wanted it?

 

I think Abby just meant that tax payer funded programs already pay for formula and food in more long term capacities, so what would the big deal be? 

post #51 of 79

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

 

 


Excellent point!  The petition reads:

 

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

 

You're right, I didn't read the actual petition.  Still, I can't quite articulate why and I'm not even sure it's right, but I feel like the hospitals are acting more unethically than the formula companies in the situation.  When the hospital hands the samples out, it stigmatizes whatever brand it is.  It becomes the "doctor recommended" choice, whether unconsciously or not, and that is where I see the ethical problem.  Barring any medical or food intolerance issues, I doubt the doctors or hospitals have any opinion on what brand parents should use, but they act as if they do.  I do agree it would be a lot faster to get the formula companies to agree not to advertise through hospitals than fighting hospital by hospital. 

 

I did read an interesting idea about formula marketing on the Fearless Formula Blog.  Her thought was that we should be petitioning formula companies to only send samples to people who requested them.  That way, those who need it or choose it can get the freebies/be marketed to if they want (though I still don't think it should come from the hospital) and those that want to avoid the influence/temptation can.  And any formula company who disagrees would look more definitely anti-breastfeeding, which wouldn't be good for them. 

post #52 of 79

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slmommy View Post


 

I think Abby just meant that tax payer funded programs already pay for formula and food in more long term capacities, so what would the big deal be? 

 

I read Abby's comment as saying that because tax payers pay for WIC, they are already paying for the "free" samples (along with all other formula buyers) since the price of all those freebies is included in the formula WIC has to buy.

post #53 of 79

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelorum View Post

You're right, I didn't read the actual petition.  Still, I can't quite articulate why and I'm not even sure it's right, but I feel like the hospitals are acting more unethically than the formula companies in the situation.  When the hospital hands the samples out, it stigmatizes whatever brand it is.  It becomes the "doctor recommended" choice, whether unconsciously or not, and that is where I see the ethical problem.  Barring any medical or food intolerance issues, I doubt the doctors or hospitals have any opinion on what brand parents should use, but they act as if they do.  I do agree it would be a lot faster to get the formula companies to agree not to advertise through hospitals than fighting hospital by hospital. 

 

I did read an interesting idea about formula marketing on the Fearless Formula Blog.  Her thought was that we should be petitioning formula companies to only send samples to people who requested them.  That way, those who need it or choose it can get the freebies/be marketed to if they want (though I still don't think it should come from the hospital) and those that want to avoid the influence/temptation can.  And any formula company who disagrees would look more definitely anti-breastfeeding, which wouldn't be good for them. 

 

I think that for the most part, we agree.  I think that the hospitals are more culpable in the matter, and I definitely support the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, and as a consumer, I use the only Baby-Friendly hospital in my state as my back-up for births and encourage anyone I know who is planning a hospital birth to consider that hospital first.  That said, I think that the WHO's guidelines for marketing breast milk substitutes are not bad.  Even in our industrialized country with good access to clean water, sterilization of bottles, etc, breastfeeding saves lives.  Formula is very important to have available as a breast milk substitute (Ideally, we'd make donor milk more available, but you want to talk expensive...), and I'm not going to judge anyone's reasons (Mothers are the best ones to make decisions balancing needs for the good of the family), but it should really be done in a way that offers the formula for those who need it rather than working to undermine breastfeeding, and it is the responsibility of formula companies to make sure that their advertising practices are not undermining breastfeeding. 

post #54 of 79

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

 

 

I think that for the most part, we agree.  I think that the hospitals are more culpable in the matter, and I definitely support the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, and as a consumer, I use the only Baby-Friendly hospital in my state as my back-up for births and encourage anyone I know who is planning a hospital birth to consider that hospital first.  That said, I think that the WHO's guidelines for marketing breast milk substitutes are not bad.  Even in our industrialized country with good access to clean water, sterilization of bottles, etc, breastfeeding saves lives.  Formula is very important to have available as a breast milk substitute (Ideally, we'd make donor milk more available, but you want to talk expensive...), and I'm not going to judge anyone's reasons (Mothers are the best ones to make decisions balancing needs for the good of the family), but it should really be done in a way that offers the formula for those who need it rather than working to undermine breastfeeding, and it is the responsibility of formula companies to make sure that their advertising practices are not undermining breastfeeding. 

 

Yeah, I think the Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative is great for everyone, good PR for the hospital, supportive of moms etc.  Now I am curious how baby-friendly hospitals handle formula when needed, since one of the steps to be certified baby-friendly is not accepting free or low-cost formula.  

 

As for the WHO code, I think the intentions behind it are good, especially for countries with sanitation problems, but when companies like Medela get in "trouble" because they want to sell bottles separately from the pumps, or whatever it was they did, I kind of think it's been taken too far. 

post #55 of 79

 

 

Quote:

 If they didn't give away the free samples, the cost could be lower for each can/bottle making it easier to afford.

 

I think bringing WIC up has nothing to do with this

WIC directly contributes to the cost of formula, non-WIC users pay higher retail cost    

 

high WIC usage areas = higher formula cost to consumers

 

as with most products many things factor into the cost retailers charge and it is not set by the formula manufactures 

 

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:7tYo3FeEknAJ:http://www.internationalbreastfeedingjournal.com/content/1/1/8%2Binfant%2Bformula%2Bhospitable%2Bdonations%2Bmanufacture%2Bcost&client=safari&rls=en&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&nfpr=&spell=1&gs_nf=1&gs_l=serp.12...12965.15011.0.17667.7.7.0.0.0.0.76.412.7.7.0.zmTt8RyVB6o&ct=clnk

 

 

Significantly, the retail price is higher where WIC is most active. Grocers and other merchants know that WIC will cover the retail price of formula sold through WIC vouchers, so they are motivated to push the price up. The pattern is well documented. This also allows the wholesale price to creep up. Even if these price increments were relatively modest, added up across the country, they would produce a significant increase in cash flow to the manufacturers over what they could have obtained in a genuinely competitive market.

WIC's involvement produces upward pressure on retail prices.

 

http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kent/The%20High%20Price%20of%20Infant%20Formula%20in%20the%20US.pdf

 

most formula companies donate to hospital (tax write off) I highly doubt they wish to stop this- samples, donation, swag, etc are usually not related to the retail cost

 

 

 

Baby-Friendly Hospital are great but most do not have access to them and even in areas that they do exist most are still beholden to their insurance companies choice of hospitals. As a PP mentioned, until real reform to the health care system comes to the US and all services are covered, there is going to be very little change, corporate interest has a honored seat at the table-IMO

 

 

 

 

post #56 of 79

Serenbat, I just really don't understand what you're trying to say here. Because other stuff is wrong, don't be concerned about this?  Or that we as taxpayers should be worried about the cost of covering the one can of formula that wouldn't be sent home with each WIC recipient?  Or we shouldn't ask that formula companies stop marketing in hospitals because some people might actually have to buy a can formula since they wouldn't be sent home with a free sample?

post #57 of 79

 

 

Quote:
Serenbat, I just really don't understand what you're trying to say here. Because other stuff is wrong, don't be concerned about this?  Or that we as taxpayers should be worried about the cost of covering the one can of formula that wouldn't be sent home with each WIC recipient?  Or we shouldn't ask that formula companies stop marketing in hospitals because some people might actually have to buy a can formula since they wouldn't be sent home with a free sample?

 

 

so you don't want formula companies to donate but it's OK for taxpayer to pay for it? that I am totally opposed to

 

the logic that some seem to have thinking that "donated" formula costs more and if taxpayers via WIC supply it is somehow cheaper- where is that proof?

 

companies donate their product all the time, I am not flipping out because the Red Cross gives out "donated" supplies nor do I fault a company that donates be it through the RC or other and think their products cost more because they give donations- and many companies do this for all types of products

post #58 of 79

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post

Serenbat, I just really don't understand what you're trying to say here. Because other stuff is wrong, don't be concerned about this?  Or that we as taxpayers should be worried about the cost of covering the one can of formula that wouldn't be sent home with each WIC recipient?  Or we shouldn't ask that formula companies stop marketing in hospitals because some people might actually have to buy a can formula since they wouldn't be sent home with a free sample?

 

I agree.  I am not seeing how "free" samples and swag from companies are related to WIC.  WIC doesn't provide formula in a hospital setting as far as I'm aware.  And if a baby needs formula from WIC, they should receive it.  And that is paid for by tax payers.  I don't see how that makes it more expensive. headscratch.gif

post #59 of 79

      Quote:

Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

so you don't want formula companies to donate but it's OK for taxpayer to pay for it? that I am totally opposed to

 

 

I don't understand why you keep saying "donate." This has nothing to do with "donating."  We're talking about free samples for marketing purposes being distributed in hospital discharge bags. It's not a benevolent gesture. And what I or anyone else feels about WIC providing free formula is not relevant to this issue.

 

 

        Quote:

Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

the logic that some seem to have thinking that "donated" formula costs more and if taxpayers via WIC supply it is somehow cheaper- where is that proof?

 

Honestly, I don't care about the cost issue.  It has no bearing on my feelings about free samples.  WIC seems like a red herring here, and I'm sorry I ever responded about it when you brought it up earlier. 

 

post #60 of 79

 

 

Quote:
I don't understand why you keep saying "donate." This has nothing to do with "donating."  We're talking about free samples for marketing purposes being distributed in hospital discharge bags. It's not a benevolent gesture. And what I or anyone else feels about WIC providing free formula is not relevant to this issue.

 

 

I don't know what you don't get about the word donate? Who do you think pays for this? In my area they are donated by the company that is giving the item- not paid by the hospitable- it's a donation- they are of samples but the process is called what it is a donation. You also get them at the OB and the local Ped offices - they are donated not paid for by the OB or the Ped.

 

The mention of WIC comes because of the poster that stated the cost of formula is because of these and it has been shown the formula cost is directly related to WIC- they are the driving force behind the cost in the US for formula not because of these bags.

 

I do not know of any products that cost more because a company gives it as a sample/donation.

 

As a taxpayer I do not want to incur MORE taxes to make up for that is being of no cost to me now. There are those who will always want formula and who want these bags and I do not want to pay if formula companies do away with offering this- very simple, right not it is not costing me and there a demand (like it or not), I do not want to see cost passed on to me as a taxpayer via a social service.

I am free to make my own choice as others can do if they want to or not. I just don't wish to pay for others that do want these bags, and in my area, that seems to be a lot.

 

ETA - in my state you don't just get WIC and food assistance because you want it- and there are many (my DH works with them!) that make over the state limit and can't get any help yet really need it and there are those that want this bag and the coupon/vouchers - I had no problem giving mine away- I even got a bag sent in the mail - who knows what list my name was sold to, it came from and it was filled and I had no problem giving it away

 


Edited by serenbat - 4/26/12 at 10:34am
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