Bias

Mommy woke up this morning to this article on her iPad news page. She read the headline and cringed… and then read the story and became more and more angry. THEN the tweets started flying through my feed, and she just got annoyed.

Critical thinking skills, people. High school science: there is NO causal link demonstrated here between the formula in question and the tragic death of the infant.

A few things first: Mommy is really, really oversensitive about breast feeding and firmly believes in the right of formula to exist – if it didn’t, after all, I would have been in big trouble. Also, the death of any child is an overwhelming tragedy, and we send thoughts and prayers to the grieving family. Finally, there may be facts in existence that were not presented in the article.

BUT. The headline, “Wal-Mart pulls powdered formula after Mo. baby’s death” implies that the formula directly caused the child’s infection – and *maybe* it did. The article, itself, though, does NOT support that being the case… and it became clear from my Twitter feed that many, many people did not read the full article before going into full on self-righteous Gisele-Bundchen-esque judgment of formula feeding.

The second paragraph of the story reads “No government recall had been ordered for the 12.5-ounce cans of Enfamil Newborn powder with the lot number ZP1K7G. Manufacturer Mead Johnson Nutrition said its records showed the lot tested negative for the bacterium before it was shipped.” The spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, went on to state “At this point it has not been determined whether the illness is linked to the formula or an outside source.”

So, why is Walmart recalling the formula? Is Missouri placing a boil order on water in the family’s area? Did they recall the bottles that were used? How about the child’s carseat or toys, or anything else he may have sucked on?

Finally, it seems to us that Enfamil made more formula in the batch in question than the one can that this specific family used. Are there any other reported infant fatalities?

Again, it may be that there ARE facts that are not released in this specific piece that implicate the formula in some way, but the headline seems overblown and sensationalized to capitalize on the controversial breastfeeding vs. formula feeding debate.

Just our $0.02

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3 Comments

  1. I totally agree with you! I HATE how sensationalized and CRAZY people get about all this stuff – one death doesn't make a product deadly and who knows how much other stuff is involved, just like you said! I also just heard a huge story about how Bumbo chairs are so dangerous and that if you're daring enough to use one, don't ever put it on a table or shelf with a kid in it. Ummm, they say that ALL over the chair. Or stroller recalls because one child got hurt while totally using it in the wrong way. Why isn't it the fault of the child/parents who were letting the one year old play underneath the stroller? It's like we're all SO freaked out about whether or not we're doing a good job that we want to jump on every single company that has any sort of issue whatsoever, regardless if the issues actually have anything to do with the product at all. We're always pointing fingers trying to say we're somehow doing something better than the next person and ha ha isn't this proof?! So frustrating.

  2. Yup. I agree with everything you said. From one formula feeding momma to another — you're doing good :). (Cole's mommy obviously, not Cole 😉

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