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    Bad milk makes Montreal’s child mortality world’s worst

    “Out of every three children born in Montreal two die before they reach the age of five,” proclaims the headline in an advertisement by Truro Condensed Milk Company for its canned Jersey Cream Brand Evaporated Milk, in the Montreal Star July 2, 1910.

    “Montreal’s death rate among children is the highest in the civilized world,” says the ad. “Since 1890, the infant mortality has averaged 59% of total deaths. Of all the deaths of children under 18 months, 75% are those of bottle-fed babies.”

    The ad quotes a speech by Dr. George Hastings to the Canadian Medical Association (June 10, 1908):

    “If the truth were known, 15,000 of the 30,000 children who die annually in Canada might justly have the epitaph, ‘Poisoned by Impure Milk,’ placed on their gravestones.’”

    “Jersey Cream Evaporated Milk is free from disease germs,” the company claims, posing none of raw milk’s risk of tubercular or typhoid infection. The milk is canned at factories in Truro, Nova Scotia, and Huntingdon, Quebec.

    Dr. Hastings, an obstetrician who lost his infant child to contaminated milk, was Toronto’s medical doctor who led a vigorous campaign that made Toronto a world leader in public health reform. See blog article Toronto’s slums had chickens in living rooms, leaky roofs, wet basements and cellars, overflowing outdoor privies, and high rents.

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    TAGS: Infant mortality, Milk, Contamination, Montreal, Dr. George Hastings

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