I've been avoiding the melamine milk powder disaster. I just can't think too much about the dead babies, the damaged babies, the parents who thought they were sustaining their children, nurturing them, when in fact the formula they were giving them was poisonous. It's too sad, so I turn away. I suspect I shouldn't, but I do it all the same.
I'm disappointed that much of the media coverage has focused on the business outcomes for Fonterra, in a manner that ignores the personal element. This is tragedy that has grown from the inexorable greed for bigger and bigger profits, I have no doubt, and I wish that there was somehow a balance between reporting what it means for Fonterra's balance sheet and what it means for the thousands of families affected. Mostly it seems to be relegated to the business news now, in our country at least. Homepaddock, a farmer herself, has been writing a lot about this story, so you might want to check out her blog for more detail on it all.
We've got Wriggly down to three milk feeds a day now, each one almost always delivered via the time-honoured method of breastfeeding. On Monday I go back to my full time job, which means my boobs won't be here at lunchtime. I'm going to try to express, however given how exhausted I've got recently I'm not sure that will be a realistic option. So that means a formula feed a day (and sometimes two) for my son. I was quite relaxed about it until the San Lu story broke.
Rationally I know that the formula supply in New Zealand is safe. But we're not always fully rational beings all the time, are we? We're emotional too, and having an emotional response, as much as many people try to degrade it, is still valid.
There's enough guilt attached to using formula already, without this; without this horrible trepidation. And if I'm anxious, thousands of miles away where the milk powder is always tested and we have a rigorous food safety scheme, I can only imagine the fear of Chinese mums and dads.