Press release – 28 June 2017
(National Breastfeeding Celebration Week in England began on 26th June)

Baby Milk Action is delighted to announce that poet Hollie McNish has agreed to become a patron of the not-for-profit organisation, which campaigns to stop misleading marketing by the baby feeding industry.

(Photo credit: Hollie McNish – print version.)

Hollie is one of Britain’s most exciting poets, winning the Ted Hughes prize for her collection, Nobody Told Me and currently touring her new book, Plum.

Her poem Embarrassed (see below), about her own experiences of breastfeeding in public, which also touched on issues such as the aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes and the unnecessary death and suffering this causes, has been viewed over seven million times online.

Hollie said:

“I think Baby Milk Action is so under-rated and so so needed. I didn’t know about them when I had my baby and I wish I had. An organisation dedicated to making it as easy as possible for parents to feed their babies as safely as they can. Without their massive and ongoing efforts to keep a check on formula company misinformation, and to advocate for safer infant feeding policies, I think we’d be in a lot more trouble and having a much more difficult time raising our kids.”

Susan Last, Chair of the Baby Milk Action Board of Directors, said:

 “We are delighted to announce in National Breastfeeding Celebration Week that Hollie McNish is Baby Milk Action’s new patron. Hollie is an artist who makes us look again at our everyday lives and what lies underneath them. We look forward to working with her to raise awareness of and challenge some of the forces that influence the culture in which we feed our babies.”

 Patti Rundall OBE, Baby Milk Action Policy Director, said:

 “As Hollie captures so well in her poem ‘Embarrassed’ and her other work, it is simply not enough to keep repeating the mantra ‘Breast is Best.’ Indeed such messages can even backfire and infuriate women. This is why our work highlights the responsibility of governments to remove the obstacles that so many mothers face. An essential element is to bring in laws to stop the multi-billion dollar baby feeding industry misleading parents, idealising their products and getting parents to trust them. There is good independent information available from the NHS, mother support groups and others – but it’s drowned out with all the commercial nonsense.”

Contact Details:

For further information and to arrange interviews contact Patti Rundall on 07786 523493
or Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator, on 07986 736179

Notes for Editors

Baby Milk Action is the UK member of IBFAN (the International Baby Food Action Network), a global network of over 270 citizens groups in more than 160 countries that has been working since 1980 to stop misleading marketing by the baby feeding industry. In the UK, Baby Milk Action is the secretariat for the Baby Feeding Law Group, a coalition of leading health professional and mother support groups and a founder of the Conflict of Interest Coalition.

Embarrassed // poem by Hollie McNish // directed by Jake Dypka

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