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I did do a search for this subject, but I haven't seen anything posted recently, so here goes.<br><br>
I got this in Midwifery Today magazine (Spring 2007, Number 81, page 47) and knew right where to bring it to light! The two organizations that are leading the lactivism charge are Baby Milk Action and INFACT Canada. The following is an excerpt from Baby Milk Action's website (<a href="http://www.babymilkaction.org/CEM/cemnov06.html#1" target="_blank">http://www.babymilkaction.org/CEM/cemnov06.html#1</a>)<br><br>
"Direct pressure is being exerted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the President of the Philippines to withdraw newly introduced regulations that protect breastfeeding and child health. In a leaked letter dated 11 August, the President of the US Chamber of Commerce, Mr Thomas Donohue, warned President Arroyo of “the risk to the reputation of the Philippines as a stable and viable destination for investment” if she did not “re-examine this regulatory decision”. He was referring to marketing restrictions on pharmaceutical and formula companies."<br><br>
Please go to the website link above for the full article, it is really long!<br><br>
In the letter from Sterken of INFACT Canada that was published in Midwifery Today, she says "This is an outrageous attack on the self-determination of a sovereign nation being carried out in the name of US citizens and interests". If you're an American, you can do something about it!<br><br>
Please write a polite letter to Mr. Donohue (remember to get action, we have to be respectful!) and send a copy of your letter to the Filipino Secretary of Health. Here are the addresses:<br><br>
Honourable Thomas J. Donahue<br>
President and Chief Executive Officer<br>
Chamber of Commerece of the United States of America<br>
1615 H Street N.W.<br>
Washington, D.C. 20062-2000<br><br>
Filipino Secretary of Health<br>
Francisco Duque<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br>
When I finish my letter, I will post it here as a sample.<br><br>
I hope I've given all the pertinant information... this is the first time I've posted my own alert, so please forgive any mistakes!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Mrs. DI<br>
xxx Spring St. #xx<br>
Paso Robles, CA xxxxx<br><br><br>
March 13, 2007<br><br><br>
Honorable Thomas J. Donahue<br>
President and Chief Executive Officer<br>
Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America<br>
1615 H Street N.W.<br>
Washington, D.C. 20062-2000<br><br>
Dear Thomas Donahue,<br><br>
I would like to voice my strong objection to the action the Chamber of Commerce has undertaken to block the enacting by the Filipino government of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). If enacted, the IRR would ensure that Filipino law supports and is consistent with global health recommendations on infant and young child feeding, recommendations which are based on the profound and long-lasting health benefits that are provided by exclusive breastfeeding for six months followed by continued breastfeeding for two years and beyond. In the Philippines, a nation afflicted by poverty and widespread malnutrition, breastfeeding can serve as a vital foundation for good health which can contribute significantly to an individual’s well-being, helping to prevent disease well into adult life. Formula advertising which is designed to convince mothers to artificially feed their children inevitably has negative effects on the breastfeeding rates and thus is a threat to the health of Filipino infants. Hence the Filipino Department of Health has determined that a ban on formula advertising is in the best interests of the nation’s citizens.<br>
In your letter to Filipino President Gloria Arroyo, you stated that the IRR could only be passed at the “risk to the reputation of the Philippines as a stable and viable destination for investment”. This is a diplomatically-worded threat to deprive the Philippines of much needed foreign capital and has been called “subtle blackmail” by Secretary of Health Dr. Francisco Duque. That an American government body with no accountability to the people of the Philippines would attempt to alter the course of legislation as important to the general population as the IRR is unacceptable. It is also unacceptable for the Chamber of Commerce to pursue the interests of a handful of corporations at the expense of the health of the most vulnerable members of Filipino society: their children.<br>
I urge you to assure President Arroyo that there will be no ill effects on Chamber of Commerce policy towards the Philippines if the IRR is enacted and to take no further action to halt the legislation. Please support the ongoing efforts of the Filipino people to safeguard the well-being of their children and stop your opposition to this law.<br>
Sincerely,<br>
DI<br><br>
(So now I can't print the darn letter because we're out of ink! The world is against me today!)
 

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The Chamber of Commerce is not part of the government, it's an association of businesses, FYI to any letter writers.<br><br>
DH is a member of our local one (he joined because they were considering how to get insurance for the self-employed/small businesses as a cooperative). But they haven't gotten it done, and this might be something to add to his "No, thanks, not paying my dues this year!" letter. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
I don't know how the organizations are set up, I'd imagine similar to many other organizations like this - with local, state, and national governing boards and memberships (my point of reference is Scouts, Cattlewomen, and 4-H). If anyone knows more about how they're set up, please share. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I'd imagine that activism not only at the national level but through the local groups would also be good (some of the local groups probably have members who bf or have spouses who bf'd; and if they start worrying about local pressure against them as Chamber members because the national organization wants to halt baby-friendly policies in the Phillipines, I'd imagine that the spectre of the Nestle boycotts might haunt a few of them ...!).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for letting me know about that... I wasn't aware! I guess when it says something like "United States Chamber of Commerce" it sounds really official and governmental, you know? I really hope more people write, because this is a really big deal, I think!!!
 
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