Female Infants Growing Breasts

The news doesn’t surprise me. Female infants in China have been growing breasts. “According to the official Chinese Daily newspaper, medical tests performed on the babies found levels of estrogens circulating in their bloodstreams that are as high as those found in most adult women. These babies are between four and 15 months old. And the evidence is overwhelming that the milk formula they have been fed is responsible.” (source)

When I first read that headline, I thought that soy formula was to blame because of its high estrogen content. But no, further investigation revealed that the biggest culprit is actually milk-based formulas. You see, like the US, China has no laws prohibiting the use of bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in dairy cows. Isn’t it wonderful to be part of such a large biological experiment without your consent?

The dairy industry wants you to believe that milk from cows administered growth hormones is safe — that there’s no difference between rBGH milk and regular milk. As such, the labels on milk and cheese and other dairy products aren’t even required to tell you the products are made using rBGH milk. In fact, the only way you’ll know if your dairy comes from cows raised without the hormones is if it’s labeled as such. But guess what? The dairy industry has even fought (unsuccessfully thus far) to keep labels such as “rBGH-free” or “growth hormone free” off of dairy products.

Yet there’s plenty of evidence from around the world implicating growth hormones, not just the recent findings in China:

In the 1980s, doctors in Puerto Rico began encountering cases of precocious puberty. There were four-year-old girls with fully developed breasts. There were three-year old girls with pubic hair and vaginal bleeding. There were one-year-old girls who had not yet begun to walk but whose breasts were growing. And it wasn’t just the females. Young boys were also affected. Many had to have surgery to deal with breasts that had become grossly swollen.

Writing a few years later in the Journal of the Puerto Rico Medical Association, Dr. Carmen A. Saenz explained the cause. “It was clearly observed in 97 percent of the cases that the appearance of abnormal breast tissue was…related to local whole milk in the infants.”

The problem was traced, and found to stem from the misuse of hormones in dairy cows. When Dr. Saenz was asked how she could be certain the babies and children were contaminated with hormones from milk rather than from some other source, she replied simply: “When we take our young patients off… fresh milk, their symptoms usually regress.”

In light of just how much of the infant formula in the U.S. is imported from China, the recent news ought to scare you.

So, what are your alternatives? Of course, the obvious first solution is to breastfeed your babies. If, for whatever reasons, that’s not possible, then there are still better alternatives to commercial formula out there. Check out these life-saving recipes developed by the Weston A. Price Foundation. That page even includes a recipe for how to fortify store-bought formula to make it more nutrient-dense and more easily absorbed.

And, if you want to know how to prioritize your dairy purchases, check out this post on Healthy Milk: What To Buy.

(photo by seandreilinger)

Print Friendly
Sharing Is Rebellious! ENJOY.


The following two tabs change content below.
I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with Food Renegade's ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. You may read my full disclosure statements here.









20 Responses to Female Infants Growing Breasts
  1. santoisaac
    August 23, 2010 | 11:01 am

    Bebies growing breasts. The culprit: cow milk with hormonies. http://bit.ly/bVV7vQ

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. Lovelyn
    August 23, 2010 | 11:36 am

    Shocking! I heard a story on NPR not too long ago about a study that showed that American girls are developing younger than ever before and in the story it said that scientists weren’t sure why it was happening. I couldn’t believe it. How could scientists be unsure why it’s happening? It seems pretty obvious to me. Babies developing breasts is so frightening. Imagine what kind of health problems they may have in the future because of this.
    .-= Lovelyn´s last blog post …Tip of the Day =-.

    • KristenM
      August 23, 2010 | 2:49 pm

      There have already been a number of studies linking rBGH use to breast cancer. I wonder what else we’ll turn up.

      Bottom line: unopposed estrogen is a BAD thing. This much estrogen in infants is criminal, and is consigning them to poor health later in life.

  3. first_islander
    August 23, 2010 | 12:40 pm

    Reading @foodrenegade Female Infants Growing Breasts http://tinyurl.com/2vnqkyv

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. amandachoward
    August 23, 2010 | 1:09 pm

    Reading @foodrenegade Female Infants Growing Breasts http://tinyurl.com/2vnqkyv

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. heidihillyard
    August 23, 2010 | 1:31 pm

    Reading @foodrenegade Female Infants Growing Breasts http://tinyurl.com/2vnqkyv

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. farrahknits
    August 23, 2010 | 2:29 pm

    Reading @foodrenegade Female Infants Growing Breasts http://tinyurl.com/2vnqkyv

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. Heather
    August 23, 2010 | 3:32 pm

    Sadly, I’ve read somewhere that boys are developing breasts too for the same reason. I’ve read articles on this several places, so I can’t say where I read it or where the boys were, but if girls reaching puberty in infancy isn’t enough to scare people into fighting for change surely boys with breasts will. I wish.

    How big does the catastrophy have to be before we stop thinking we can improve on nature has already perfected?

    • KristenM
      August 23, 2010 | 9:06 pm

      Oh those poor boys. I wonder: if they eliminate the excess estrogen from their system, do their breasts shrink, or are they stuck with them for life?

  8. Ginny
    August 23, 2010 | 6:03 pm

    I remember reading about a 4 year old in England that had started her menses and was developing breasts. It was horrifying to think that such a young person had to go through those kind of hormonal changes.

    What has to happen before people start to get wise and demand change?

  9. Tiffany@ The Coconut Mama
    August 23, 2010 | 6:19 pm

    This is so sad!!! I would also like to add to your list that you can get breast milk from milk banks, and you can hire a wet nurse if you aren’t able to breastfeed your baby.

    ~Tiffany
    .-= Tiffany@ The Coconut Mama´s last blog post …CREAMY COCONUT OATMEAL =-.

  10. Stephanie
    August 23, 2010 | 6:23 pm

    Ugh. This is so gross and so sad. I’m a teacher and you definitely notice how kids are developing faster than they should be. It’s so sad for kids who can’t control what they’re eating. Thanks for the info.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog post …Granola Crunchin Hippie =-.

  11. Om_Wellness
    August 23, 2010 | 8:18 pm

    The importance of being mindful of dairy consumption: http://www.foodrenegade.com/female-infants-growing-breasts/

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  12. Karen
    August 23, 2010 | 9:11 pm

    Thank you for reporting these things. While I am saddened by adults who scoff at information that contradicts what agencies like the FDA tell them, to see them ignore those things that can cause such harm to their children makes me sad beyond measure. I wish people would at least do a little research to see if these things are so!
    .-= Karen´s last blog post …Raw Milk War =-.

  13. BrooklynesBump
    August 23, 2010 | 10:38 pm
  14. Nate @ House of Annie
    August 24, 2010 | 12:11 am

    What about UHT milk? Is it also not safe?
    .-= Nate @ House of Annie´s last blog post …Roast Chicken Ramadan Recipe =-.

  15. Sue May
    August 24, 2010 | 4:13 pm

    A very sad story. Growth hormones in milk

  16. Heathen_Mom
    August 26, 2010 | 10:47 am

    Female Infants Growing Breasts http://t.co/iCqA9mx

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  17. Lindsay_Life
    August 31, 2010 | 10:19 pm

    Female Infants Growing Breasts http://bit.ly/bfjsiA WOAH.

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  18. simplycathie
    September 4, 2010 | 7:20 pm

    Female infants between 4 & 15 months growing breasts? http://tinyurl.com/298f5pm

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
Food Renegade April Giveaway