Presentation Information

Cecilia Tomori

Examining the Roots of the Formula Crisis: An Infant Feeding Emergency Manufactured by Society

  • Speaker: Cecilia Tomori , PhD, MA
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 165 Mins
  • Credits:

This presentation will address the North American formula crisis that was triggered by investigations into the deaths and illness of several infants from contaminated commercial milk formula (CMF), leading to an extended shut down of a major plant and acute shortages of CMF. While media narratives have often presented the crisis as novel and an isolated occurrence, this presentation will demonstrate that the roots of the crisis are much older and deeply intertwined with the profoundly harmful practices of colonialism and racial capitalism. These colonial systems gave rise to the contemporary CMF industry that continues to inflict disproportionate harm to the Global South and marginalized populations in the Global North. Rather than a set of individual, neutral “choices” devoid of context, the presentation will highlight how infant feeding decisions are shaped by powerful, inequitable systems. The presentation will identify the corporate practices entailed in perpetuating harmful practices in this crisis and provide policy solutions for how to establish a more equitable and just system of infant feeding in a time of multiple, accelerating infant feeding emergencies due to climate change.