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Tainted Milk
Breastmilk, Feminisms, and the Politics of Environmental Degradation
Tainted Milk
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Maia Boswell-Penc - Author
Price: $84.50 
Hardcover - 224 pages
Release Date: April 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6719-8
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6719-0

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 224 pages
Release Date: April 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6720-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6720-6

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Electronic - 224 pages
Release Date: February 2012
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-8185-1

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An in-depth analysis of infant nourishment issues, focusing on environmentally contaminated breastmilk.

Tainted Milk provides an in-depth analysis of the debate about infant nourishment issues, with a particular focus on environmentally contaminated breastmilk. Maia Boswell-Penc asks why feminists and environmentalists have, for the most part, remained relatively quiet about the fact that environmental toxins have been appearing in breastmilk. She argues that feminists avoid the topic because of their fear of focusing on biological mothering and essentialist thinking, while environmentalists are reluctant to be perceived as fearmongers advocating formula use and contributing to public hysteria. Boswell-Penc also points to the continuing racism, classism, ageism, and corporatization that leaves the less privileged among us more vulnerable.

Tainted Milk is an ambitious book looking both at current hot issues such as the effect on breastfeeding of environmental contaminants, HIV and the infant food industry’s influence on health policy and at issues not immediately associated with breastfeeding in the public mind, among them, racism, subsistence fishing, and reproductive freedom.” — International Lactation Consultant Association

“The level of scholarship, clarity of writing, and the importance of the topic and argument are excellent. The advocacy of breastfeeding is balanced with a recognition of the problems of contamination, and there is a careful effort to integrate an ecojustice approach that recognizes the greater risk of women of color to contamination.” — Rosemary Radford Ruether, author of Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology, Tenth Anniversary Edition

“Boswell-Penc clearly delineates the significance of the issues involved with toxins in breastmilk and the alarming ways that this contamination matters deeply to us all. She does a very good job helping us understand why most Americans lack any knowledge of the issue and why those we might expect to hear from about it have, for the most part, failed to adequately communicate it.” — Ruth Ann Smalley, independent scholar

Maia Boswell-Penc is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York.


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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION

Advocating for Breastfeeding: An Uphill Battle

A New Chapter with Familiar Patterns: Biomonitoring

Infant Feeding under Wraps Breastmilk’s Significance Environmental Toxicity Laying Out the Players

CHAPTER 1. THE EVOLVING NARRATIVE OF INFANT FOOD CONTAMINATION:HISTORICAL VIGNETTES

Part I: Wet Nursing Contamination Narratives: A Series of Supremacist Gestures Defining Terms

Addressing the (Colonizing) Dangers of Overgeneralizations

Wet-Nursing and Semen-Curdled Milk: Assessing the Myth of the Constitution Too Delicate to Suckle

Classism, Sexism, Ageism, and Lookism: Assessing Some Trends

The “Threat of the Dangerous Stranger”: Wet-Nursing in Select Mid-nineteenth-Century American Contexts

Human Milk Banking

White Supremacy and the Colonization of Black Women’s Bodies

Part II: Mathematical Formulas

The Advent of Scientific Infant Food and the Era of “Scientific Motherhood”

The Growing Impact of Advertising

Medicine and Markets

Colonization and the Search for New Markets:Exporting Infant Food as the More “Civilized” Choice

Breastfeeding and Population Debates

Debates Around the Possibility of HIV Transmission Through Breastmilk:A New Chapter or an Old Story?

The True Unborn Victims of Violence

CHAPTER 2. TOXIC DISCLOSURE: THE GROWING AWARENESS OF ENVIRONMENTALLY CONTAMINATED BREASTMILK IN THE CONTEXT OF MUCH-NEEDED BREASTFEEDING ADVOCACY

Rachel Carson’s Legacy

The Impact of Changing Rates of Breastfeeding in the United States on Interest in Environmental Pollutants in Breastmilk

Burgeoning Environmentalist Attention and Pulling Back Environmentalists’ Reluctance

Children’s Health Campaigns: The Power of the Internet

Impacts of the Breastfeeding Advocacy

Community Developments in Related Campaigns: Movements to Curb Formula Advertising and Use and to Protect Infant Health

Breastfeeding and Environmental Advocates: Friends or Foes?

The Role of the Press in Disseminating Stories of Breastmilk Toxicity

The Press on Toxic Fish Developments in Related Campaigns: The Environmental Justice Movement

The Sensitive and Unusual Nature of Breastmilk on a Policy Level and as a Fluid Vital to Life

CHAPTER 3. BREAST FETISHIZATION, BREAST CANCER, AND BREAST AUGMENTATION: THE CURIOUS OMISSIONS OF BREASTFEEDING AND BREASTMILK CONTAMINATION AS SIGNIFICANT FEMINIST ISSUES

A Lack of Feminist Attention

Feminist Silence on Infant Feeding: From Preoccupation with the Sexual Division of Labor to Fights for Reproductive Freedoms

Structural Impediments

Results of the Lack of Feminist Attention to Infant Feeding

Feminist Attention to Infant Feeding: “The Scientific” versus “the Political”?

Feminists Critiquing (and Embracing) Science

Who’s Doing the Feeding? Racism, Classism, and Colonization in Childcare

Work Immigrant Women Doing Childcare(In)Attention among Feminists to the Environmental Contamination of Breastmilk

What Science Can Offer: The Benefits of Breastmilk

When the “Personal Is the Political”: The Ecological Impacts of Formula-Use

Findings on the Environmental Contamination of Breastmilk and Resulting Health Effects on Women and Children

Feminist Attention to the Environmental Contamination of Breastmilk

Feminists, Environmental Justice Activists, and Breastmilk Toxicity

Structural Problems Impeding Breastfeeding in the United States: Women in the Workplace and in Environmentally Devastated Communities

CHAPTER 4. POLLUTING THE “WATERS” OF THE MOST VULNERABLE: ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE, AND BREASTMILK CONTAMINATION

Toxic Breastmilk as an “Environmental Justice” Issue

The Environmental Justice Movement: A Range of Documented Cases, with the List Still Growing

Chemical Colonization: Toxicity on the Akwasasne

The Mother’s Milk Project

The Continuing Legacy of Chemical Colonization: The Case of Latina

Farmworkers Breastmilk Toxicity among U.S. Farmworkers

Buying Organic and Protecting “Our” Children: How We Forget the “Others”

Moving Toward Environmental Justice

Urban Women and Those at Risk due to Occupational or Other Exposures

Approaches to Remediation: Community-based Participatory Action Research

The Watchperson Project in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg Neighborhood of Brooklyn,

NY: Bringing Awareness to Subsistence Fishing Hazards

Greater Movement Toward Environmental Justice: The Institute of Health’s Vision and the La Duke, Bonnie Raitt, Indigo Girls Consciousness-Raising Team

Breastmilk as a Powerful Symbol of Desecration and Hope

CONCLUSION: A NEED FOR MORE ATTENTION, AND MORE CAREFUL ATTENTION TO BREASTMILK TOXICITY

Assessing Coverage: Two Widely Divergent Approaches

The Center for Children’s Health and the Environment—Basically Appropriate, Bold Attention

NOTES
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B
REFERENCES
INDEX



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