As New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg demanded that mothers breastfeed their babies and insisted hospitals keep baby formula under lock and key.
In 2012, the current Democrat presidential candidate created the “Latch On” initiative, which exerted control over a mother’s decision on how to feed her baby.
The Daily Mail reported at the time:
Mayor Bloomberg has demanded that hospitals stop handing out baby formula to persuade more new mothers to breastfeed their babies.
The New York City health department will monitor the number of formula bottles being given out and demand a medical reason for each one.
More than half of the city’s hospitals agreed to institute the Latch On program. Subsequently, those hospitals ended the practice of distributing free bags of formulas and baby bottles to new mothers.
With the support of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the campaign was presented as a health initiative for both mother and baby.
“With this initiative the New York City health community is joining together to support mothers who choose to breastfeed,” said Thomas Farley, city health commissioner.
WTVR reported Bloomberg defended the initiative, claiming it would make people healthier.
The proposed ban on baby formula arrived soon after another one on sugary drinks in large containers to control obesity. In 2008, Bloomberg also banned trans-fats in city restaurants and demanded menus display calories contained in each food item.
“Most of the public health officials around the country think that this is a great idea,” Bloomberg said of the baby formula initiative. “I gather that the immunities that a mother has built up get passed along to the child, so the child is healthier.”
However, some mothers complained about the campaign.
“It’s up to the mother to choose what’s right for her and her child,” said Lisa Tacy, according to WTVR. “I don’t think the government should be doing anything to prevent the mom from being a mother and making her own decisions.”
Ironically, a 1997 lawsuit filed against Bloomberg and his company alleged that he told an employee who disclosed her pregnancy to him that she should “kill it” in order to protect her career at his firm.