We’ve been getting e-mails aplenty from irate readers complaining about our position that the U.N.’s proposed death-warnings for packages of infant formula marketed in the Third World are both unnecessary and misleading. (See the Mailbag for May 20 to catch up on the controversy.) We ourselves believe that breast-feeding is best for mothers and babies, but we also understand that there are many circumstances, both health-related and job-related, that prevent women from nursing, and we thus believe that properly used infant formula is a good second-best.

Not so the rabid breast-feeding advocates who back the proposed U.N. rules and whose basic aim is either to outlaw infant formula altogether or to frighten women away from it via a propaganda campaign that would be unacceptable here in the United States where millions of women bottle-feed their babies safely. We believe that any product certified as safe and healthful by our own Food and Drug Administration in the United States should be available to Third World Women on the same terms. We believe that the breast-feeding totalitarians are trying to deflect money and energy away from the real dangers to health and nutrition in the Third World such as unsafe water supplies and a basic lack of sanitation. (See the IWF’s releases on the issue here and here and also our special report from Dr. Scott Gottlieb, M.D.)

And now comes an e-mail from reader “Rachel”:

“I’ve been following your breast-feeding/bottle-feeding thread with interest.

“I think I joined the vast right-wing conspiracy about 10 years ago when a woman told me that Nestle was killing babies in Africa. After some questioning on my part, it was revealed that Nestle was donating formula to feed said babies, thus causing their mothers’ supply of breastmilk to dry up, thus killing the babies. Never mind that many of these mothers were on the verge of starvation and unlikely able to produce breast-milk in the first place.”

Welcome to the conspiracy, Rachel! Seems that no good deed goes unpunished if it involves infant formula. All evidence for my theory that the real object of the anti-bottle-feeding crusade isn’t to promote breast-feeding but to strike another blow at capitalism.