Food security for infants and young children: breastfeeding in a market economy

Date & time

12.30–1.30pm 4 February 2015


Bob Douglas Lecture Theatre, Building 62 NCEPH (entrance on Eggleston Road)


Libby Salmon, PhD Candidate, ACERH-RSPH


 Vasoontara Yieng

Libby Salmon (BVSc, MVS) commenced PhD study at ANU’s Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health (ACERH) in 2014. In 2013 she worked with Dr Julie Smith on an ANU Gender Institute study of breastfeeding and childcare at ANU. Previous employment includes veterinary practice focused on livestock production; agricultural grazing systems research with CSIRO and specialist policy advice on international trade and regulation of livestock products at the Australian Department of Agriculture. Libby is an accredited counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association.


Infant feeding presents complex policy conflicts. Trade in human milk over the internet, financial incentives to breastfeed, a boom in infant formula exports and self-regulation of infant formula marketing challenge the resource base and value systems surrounding infant feeding. This PhD examines the effectiveness of institutional and governance arrangements for infant foods (breastfeeding, expressed human milk and infant formula) in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Value chain analysis will be used to identify the location of power and value in competing supply chains for dairy and human milk production. This framework will account for women’s ‘time’ and ‘proximity to infants’ and identify gaps in effective breastfeeding protection and support. This research aims to help policy makers address the human rights, market and food security issues that result from conflicting health, agriculture, trade and labour policies.

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