Huffpost Homepage
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jay Gordon, MD Headshot

Bill Gates Invests in Companies Which Increase Infants' Deaths

Posted: Updated:

The Los Angeles Times series on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Foundation's response reveal hypocrisy which harms babies by the millions.

No one questions the good the Gateses and their foundation have done but now they must address the deaths caused by their "blind investments."

All experts agree that non-breastfed infants in the Third World die at a rate much higher than those which are exclusively breastfed. The number of preventable deaths is somewhere between 50 and 75% of babies who die of diarrhea and other infections. (The issue of HIV transmission through breast milk triggers some of the hottest debates in medicine and will not be discussed here.)

Gates invests in Nestle. Nestle has persisted in egregious violations of the World Health Organization's Code for marketing infant formula. Over one million babies die worldwide because Nestle and other multinationals promote artificial feeding (formula) to the detriment of efforts to inform mothers of the risks of not breastfeeding. International boycotts have only temporarily decreased Nestle's efforts.

Gates Foundations CEO, Patty Stonesifer, has said that they must continue to maximize returns on investments. Her position and the refusal of Bill and Melinda Gates to respond exposes their hypocrisy. The industries they invest in pollute the water of Third World villages, pollute their air and cost the lives of millions of babies.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation could affect the way philanthropic money is invested which would in turn affect corations' inclinations to be more socially responsible. Instead, they take the low road.

JNGMD