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Human milk protein neutralises HIV

In October 2013 the National Academy of Sciences published research from Duke University about a protein called Tenascin C in human breastmilk that neutralizes HIV and in most cases, prevents it from being passed from mother to child. Eventually, they say, the protein could potentially be valuable as an HIV-fighting tool for both infants and adults that are either HIV-positive or at risk of contracting the infection.

Discovered: A Natural Protein in Breast Milk That Fights HIV. 


US child obesity levels decline

Obesity data from the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) published in the February 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, show a 43% decline in obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years. From nearly 14 percent in 2003-2004 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012 – based on CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. CDC speculates that this could be due to decreased consumption of sugary drinks and increased breastfeeding rates in the United States.


Pope Francis blesses breastfeeding

There was much media coverage in January about when Pope Francis told the mothers of babies’ he was baptising: 'If they are hungry, mothers, feed them—without thinking twice—because they are the most important people here.'

See: Lancet Global Health Blog by Dr Chessa Lutter, Regional Advisor on Food and Nutrition, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).


Cochrane Review finds no evidence for Ready-to-Use

IBFAN is calling for a review of UN and NGO programmes following the publication of two systematic reviews by the Cochrane Collaboration - an international benchmark for evaluating health interventions. Cochrane could not find evidence that commercial Ready-to-Use Foods and lipid-based supplements were any better than flour porridge made locally from enriched blended food for the treatment of severe and moderate acute malnutrition. Ready-to-Use products are often used in appeals (see right).

While they can be convenient their use must be limited and carefully managed. We are calling for robust evidence of efficacy and impact on traditional foods before products are promoted.

● See pg 17, pg 31, Update 45 and IBFAN statement.



Action in Portugal, Ireland and Greece

New IBFAN groups, in Greece and Portugal are drawing attention to Code violations. Jacqueline de Montaigne prompted Portugal's National Health Board (DGS) to coordinate a national breastfeeding campaign. She says this is not a 'mummy war of breastfeeding vs. formula feeding.. we are not trying to entice mothers to breastfeed but fighting for the right for all mothers to choose how they feed their babies and that this choice be based on accurate scientific evidence, free from commercial influence.'


Baby Feeding Law Group Ireland (BFLGI) is a new alliance of 20 organisations and professional groups who provide services to families and young children and wish to strengthen the Irish law, protect the health of all babies in Ireland and ending harmful marketing practices. Ethical Sponsorship Ireland's Facebook page highlights Code violations and raises awareness.

Contact: Claire Allcutt:


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