by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff
Executive Director & CEO
Healthy Child Healthy World
TIME raised a ruckus recently with a profile of "attachment parenting" guru Dr. Bill Sears, highlighted by a cover photo of a mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old son, according to the Huffington Post. Healthy Child believes breast is best -- especially for the first year, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics -- and welcomes the discussion these photographs have incited (although not the flaming, that's just plain mean). Some additional information to add to the chatter: African-Americans have the lowest breastfeeding rates, yet the community is hit hardest by health problems that breastfeeding may protect against.
Our newest Mom on a Mission has set out to change these statistics.
Victory for Safer Cosmetics
Thanks to an amazingly vocal community who sent thousands of letters, petitions, tweets and Facebook posts on the subject, the Safe Cosmetics Bill achieved a major victory last week, as Congress held the first hearing on cosmetics safety in 30 years and decided not to short-circuit it by adding it to a FDA-related bill, according to ABC News. However, the innocently-named "Cosmetic Safety Amendment Act of 2012," written by the Personal Care Products Council, was recently introduced and would allow decisions about ingredient safety made by the industry-funded Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel binding to the FDA, according to the Breast Cancer Fund's Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
If you need a reminder of what's at stake, read this beautiful Mother's Day blog post by Lisa Archer, with the Safe Cosmetics Campaign and be sure to sign the action alert supporting meaningful reform of the cosmetics industry.
March for Safer Chemicals
If we can do it for cosmetics, why not for chemicals in general? There are 80,000 chemicals registered for use in commerce -- not one of them has been tested for children's safety. That's why motivated moms -- including Healthy Child's representative, mom blogger Christy Funk -- are heading to Washington, D.C. on May 22nd to march with Safer Chemicals Healthy Families in support of a long-awaited overhaul of the woefully outdated federal law, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. Join us!
Flame Retardants' Smokey History
The Chicago Tribune wrapped up its four-part series on flame retardants with a must-see video that it teased with the following statement, "The average American baby is born with 10 fingers, 10 toes and the highest recorded levels of flame retardants among infants in the world. The toxic chemicals are present in nearly every home, packed into couches, chairs and many other products. Two powerful industries -- Big Tobacco and chemical manufacturers -- waged deceptive campaigns that led to the proliferation of these chemicals, which don't even work as promised." Our feelings exactly. Join Healthy Child in our support of a petition by our Parent Ambassador Sara Snow to Graco to phase out these toxic chemicals from baby products!
BPA Linked to Breast Cancer
For years advocates have warned about studies of mice that found links between BPA and breast cancer. A new study of monkeys published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and reported by the Wichita Eagle found similar results -- leading researchers to conclude that the chemical is a risk factor for breast cancer in humans.
Healthy Child Makes Celeb News
Yes, Us Weekly is a guilty pleasure -- and not exactly news -- but we can't resist the opportunity to toot our own horn when we recently found a tweet from Vanessa Lachey quoted in its pages: "'This past weekend I discovered these two AMAZING books! Let's learn together!' she tweeted April 17 with a pic of Breastfeeding Made Simple and Healthy Child, Healthy World. Thanks @VanessaLachey!