Mothers, Activists Call on Medolac Laboratories to Engage in Dialogue with Black Mothers in Detroit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Engage Michigan

January 13, 2015

Contact: Marissa Luna, 989-798-3051, marissa@engagemichigan.org

Mothers, Activists Call on Medolac Laboratories to Engage in Dialogue with Black Mothers in Detroit

Company attempting to recruit African-American and low-income women sell breast milk 

DETROIT – On Tuesday, mothers and community activists held a press conference calling on Medolac Laboratories to respond to questions and engage with local residents in a discussion of the company’s aims and objectives in recruiting African-American mothers in Detroit to participate in their for-profit breast milk-selling venture. The company has made recent attempts to recruit African-American and low-income women in Detroit to sell their breast milk.

It’s troubling to see a corporation come into our community without engaging in a dialogue with the mothers from whom they wish to profit,” said Afrykayn Moon, President of Breastfeeding Mothers Unite. “We should be encouraging women to breastfeed their own children when and how they want to before coercing them into diverting milk that would otherwise feed their own babies.”

Detroit has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. Fifteen out of every thousand babies will die before their first birthday. Breastfeeding is key in helping to put a stop to this.

“We encourage mothers to breastfeed their children for as long as works for their families, but we are deeply concerned that targeting women who face greater economic barriers than their white peers is motivated by profit rather than concern about encouraging breastfeeding in our community,” said Kiddada Green, Founding Executive Director of Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association. “Soliciting breast milk from a vulnerable population impedes the likelihood that women will breastfeed their own children – a practice that is critically important for the health of the mother and the child.”

An open letter calling on Medolac Laboratories to respond to a list of questions from activists about the company’s business objectives was signed by over 180 organizations.

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