We are pleased and proud to update you on the status of our public accountability campaign to #StopMedolac from exploiting Detroit mothers for their breast milk. After more than 600 people and organizations signed our petition asking Medolac Laboratories representatives to answer questions and to meet with mothers, activists, and lawmakers here in Detroit regarding the company’s plans to target low-income African American mothers and buy their breast milk, and then sell it at a markup, the company announced that it will not be proceeding. In fact, they stated that they are retiring their CGI Commitment to Action: Co-op Campaign to Increase Breastfeeding in Urban Areas.
While we are pleased that Medolac will not be pursuing its strategy to target low-income mothers in Detroit, we are disappointed that the company never responded to our questions regarding their plans. Nor did they make any effort, before or after our campaign, to reach out to all of us working to increase breastfeeding rates and decrease infant mortality in this community.
Like so many other corporations and organizations that claim to want to “help” Detroiters, and particularly Black Detroiters, they never talked to us, never asked us what we needed, and never sought to engage local stakeholders in their plans.
We have won the battle, but the fight is far from over. We are concerned about Medolac’s hubristic condescension. Medolac’s press release cited a “toxic atmosphere” as their rationale for giving up the Detroit project. They never even agreed to sit down with us, but accuse us of creating a toxic atmosphere? This is the kind of “we know better than you” attitude that started and ended their campaign. It also underscores how far we have to go as mother activists demanding accountability from those who seek to work in our communities.
Finally, we’d like to thank all of you. Your signatures, your phone calls, and the amazing comments that you left on our blogs gave us the strength to continue to fight this fight. And we will keep fighting, for ourselves, our babies, and for all of you.
Thank you for your support,
Kiddada Green – Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association
Afrykayn Moon Aku – Breastfeeding Mothers Unite
Danielle Atkinson – Mothering Justice
Kimberly Seals Allers – Mocha Manual Company
Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka – MomsRising
Erika Geiss – State Representative (MI HD12)