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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I just received my first-ever box of unsolicited free formula in the mail. I suppose I escaped for so long because I didn't birth in a hospital. My children are now 6 and 9 years of age. I wish the formula company's timing was so poor with all mothers. So what's considered to be the most lactivist thing to do with this stuff these days? My goals are obviously to:<br><br>
1. Hurt the formula company as much as possible, financially, and deny them free advertising/name recognition<br><br>
2. Absolutely ensure that this stuff will not fall into the hands of anyone who might otherwise breastfeed, or into the hands of a breastfeeding mother who might be tempted to supplement.<br><br>
So do I just chuck this stuff in the trash? I'm tempted to make the formula company lose money (more than they've already spent manufacturing and sending this stuff to me) by giving it to someone who would otherwise enrich the formula company by buying formula, but how do I do that without promoting formula or risking violating #2 above? Maybe I should just chuck it in the trash. What do my fellow lactivists do with this stuff these days?
 

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I donate to someone whom I already know is formula feeding and would never contemplate breastfeeding (I also have some friends who have adopted), or I donate to an abused women's shelter because those women need all the help they can get.<br><br>
Liz
 

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I wouldn't chuck it, honestly. I know that's your first instinct! (It was mine as well) But you can donate it to a shelter or a local church can find someone that can use it. Foster babies, adopted babies, women that can't BF (for whatever reason) can get use out of it.<br><br>
I gave mine to a friend of MIL...her daughter was special needs, had been raped, and wasn't planning to breastfeed...so I know it went where it was needed.
 

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Removed- I am not appropriate
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>zippy_francis</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I cant determine a stranger and their intentions.</div>
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This is my problem. I can't determine stranger's motivations, and whether it's possible they might *not* use formula if I didn't make it available to them for free. That's why I'm opposed to offering it as a donation in a way that it's available to people in all sorts of situations. I do not want to make formula more available or make it seem like a more attractive option (it's free!). I would only want to give it to someone that I KNOW would otherwise buy it, but it's difficult to ensure that. I don't know anyone with adopted children or anyone who's already formula feeding and would never consider breastfeeding.
 

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I'm going to jump in and preemptively remind everyone of the <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1203804" target="_blank">Lactivism forum guidelines</a>:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Mothering Magazine and MDC have a strong commitment to the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, which recognizes that advertising formula reduces the number of children that are breastfed and the duration of breastfeeding. The purpose of the Code is "contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants, by the protection and promotion of breast-feeding, and by ensuring the proper use of breast-milk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution." Keeping this in mind, advocating formula feeding by choice is not permitted on the Lactivism board or any other forum at MDC. Additionally, advocating the redistribution[/B] or sale of formula coupons, samples or other freebies is not permitted.</td>
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ETA: OK, I checked and saying that you, yourself, donate formula is fine, as long as you are keeping these guidelines in mind. Thanks for your patience!
 

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I mark it "return to sender" and send it back. I've really struggled with it, for all the reasons people have laid out here in this thread and in others, but in the end, I cannot tell you how much I resent the crap out of the fact that the formula industry's unethical behavior has to become my moral struggle. If I didn't ask for it, why should I be placed in the postition of having to decide the best way to get rid of it? So, I send it back. I don't know if actually goes back or not, but it's not my problem. And then I call them and demand to know how they got my info.
 

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I know I've seen other threads on this...have you tried an MDC search for "formula samples"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If I mark it "return to sender," will the formula company have to pay for shipping again? What will they do with the formula? Will it be useful to them in some way? Would they be allowed to give (or sell) it to anyone else? Will it in any way *save* them any money to get their formula back?
 

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I really have no idea. I've heard some people say it doesn't cost them and it doesn't go back to them. I just don't care anymore. After 4 kids and 3 miscarriages, all except my homebirth somehow landing me on their lists, my main objective is just to lob the ball back in their court.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just opened the box (I'm probably just going to chuck it) and there's a bunch of stuff in it that says "be sure to ask for your free bag (containing formula) at the hospital when your baby is born." I hope the reason they're emphasizing this is that more hospitals aren't automatically giving these out, and are only giving them when they're asked for? (Hopefully they'll stop giving them out at all.)
 

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I double checked, and it's not the intent of the Lactivism guidelines to stop members from making their own personal decisions about donating formula, although we would draw the line at recommending reselling. Thanks so much for your patience while I looked into this!
 

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I open up the cans and dump the formula into the garbage. I also shred the coupons.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annettemarie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15478269"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I double checked, and it's not the intent of the Lactivism guidelines to stop members from making their own personal decisions about donating formula, although we would draw the line at recommending reselling. Thanks so much for your patience while I looked into this!</div>
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Clarification: Does that mean it's okay to say "donate it"?
 

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Yes. I'm pretty sure, LOL!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annettemarie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15478288"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yes. I'm pretty sure, LOL!</div>
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Okay. Sometimes you mods are all about the cryptic! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annettemarie</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">although we would draw the line at recommending reselling</div>
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What if the person who suggested selling it specified not only that it should only be sold to someone who would definitely buy it anyway, but that all the money should be donated to LLL or the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy or Citizens for Midwifery, etc?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Sustainer</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15478372"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What if the person who suggested selling it specified not only that it should only be sold to someone who would definitely buy it anyway, but that all the money should be donated to LLL or the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy or Citizens for Midwifery, etc?</div>
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No, that would still be against the Lactivism guidelines and MDC's support of the WHO Code. It's not about where the profits go; it's about upholding the WHO code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I understand. But the WHO code is OK with formula being given away for free? My problem with making formula available for free is that it removes one of the advantages that breastfeeding has over formula: Breastfeeding is free. I'm afraid that making formula free will make it more likely that it will be used.
 
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