Michelle Obama's promotion of the IRS's breast-pump tax break is getting mixed reviews. Tea Party star Michele Bachmann, whom one would think would be in favor of any measure that lowers taxes, blasted the new rule, saying that it gives new meaning to the term "nanny state."
Sarah Palin, who, as governor of Alaska, declared October "Breastfeeding Awareness Month," now apparently believes that encouraging breastfeeding is a plot to divert Americans' attention away from the high price of cow's milk. (Good news, Sarah: The prices of soy and almond milk are coming down!)
But the IRS ruling does have its supporters, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other medical groups that lobbied for the breast-pump tax deduction.
Bill Maher apparently sides with the first lady on this one.
Numerous studies indicate that babies who are breastfed are healthier. Conversely, babies who are fed cow's milk "receive inadequate amounts of [v]itamin E, iron, essential fatty acids, and excessive amounts of protein, potassium, and sodium," according to the AAP. (In fact, the AAP recommends against feeding cow's milk to children under 1 year of age.)
Cow's milk has been found to cause or aggravate many common childhood ailments, including runny noses, allergies, ear infections, bronchitis, and asthma. For the many children who are lactose-intolerant, milk consumption can lead to stomachaches, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. Studies have also linked cow's milk to more serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, autism, juvenile diabetes, and even cancer.
America's cows are definitely on board with efforts to boost breastfeeding. They'd prefer to nurse their own babies, thank you very much.
Written by Alisa Mullins