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La Leche League International
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Media Release:

SCHAUMBURG, IL (April 1997) Human milk remains the best option for feeding human infants, even as attention is focused on the many harmful substances that may possibly find their way into a mother's body, according to La Leche League International, the world's foremost authority on breastfeeding.

In reviewing investigations of contaminants in mother's milk collected by the La Leche League International Center for Breastfeeding Information, the research shows consistently that even in a polluted world, breastfeeding offers advantages which outweigh the risk of ingesting possible contaminants. Indeed, the benefits of breastfeeding may prove to be essential to compensate for and outweigh the risks of toxic effects from the environment. The focus of scientific concerns should be directed toward removing such chemicals from our environment, not casting doubts about the only unprocessed source of perfect nutrition for infants--human milk.

La Leche League International is concerned that speculation by the uninformed may cause mothers to discontinue breastfeeding. Human milk is a living, changing fluid which adapts to the needs of the developing infant. There is no way human milk can be duplicated. Also, a discussion of this topic is incomplete without pointing out the well-documented nutritional inadequacies and detrimental health consequences of artificial baby milk, which may be contaminated both as products of the same environment and through processing.

The Center for Breastfeeding Information maintains the world's largest collection of studies on breastfeeding and human milk. La Leche League International fulfills its mission of offering information and support to women who wish to breastfeed by holding monthly meetings, offering telephone counseling, through educational opportunities and by publishing books and pamphlets on breastfeeding. LLLI reaches over 200,000 women in 66 countries every month and maintains a web site at

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