by George Kent and Cecilia Castillo
Social Medicine, Vol. 10, No. 3 (2016)
The government of Chile plans to begin distributing starter formula for its infants, raising many questions. The issues are explored here after a brief description of the context. Many of the conditions under which the planners in Chile believe starter formula would be necessary could be addressed in other ways. Support for breastfeeding could be strengthened without introducing a new formula product. Well-funded lactation clinics could be established in every primary health centre. Some of the money that governments would devote to buying infant formula could instead be used to start well-managed human milk banks, or to provide general food subsidies for people with very low incomes. Human milk sharing programs could be developed. Many things could be done without introducing a new type of formula.