Babies will die if they follow Wendyl Nissen’s advice

Via the Tip Line

Regular readers will know I’m no fan of Wendyl Nissen, but her latest rant is nothing short of irresponsible and should be retracted immediately.

The toxin found in Fonterra’s whey which was then used in baby formula teaches us a valuable lesson. Don’t trust corporations to make our food.

A keen WOBH reader has just sent this to me via the tip line – Wendyl’s musings about homemade infant formula and link to this lunatic site is dangerous and places babies at risk.

 In my old Plunket books which I used to researchMother’s Little Helper there are numerous recipes for milk formula or “humanized milk” as it was called then. They used cream, whey, water and sugar, and also evaporated milk with water and sugar added. Perhaps Plunket could offer up a recipe mothers could try as an alternative to being dependent on tins of tainted formula? The Weston A Price Foundationwhich is a strong advocate for natural unprocessed foods has some recipes on their website but they look very complicated and I’m not sure most mothers would have access to the ingredients…

Her plug for “humanized milk” using “raw milk”, “Liver based formula” and “Egg Yolk” would have Plunket aghast at the suggestion. Good one Wendyl – add salmonella to NZ’s woes.

It’s clear that Witchy Wendyl hates Fonterra and anything corporate, but to encourage mums fraught with worry about infant formula into making formula themselves is a recipe for disaster.

She notes:

I am also constantly discovering additives used in processed food here which have been banned in other countries while writing my columnWendyl Wants to Know .

Yes and Wendyl is constantly having to apologise for getting things wrong too.


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  • What a stupid irresponsible person Nissen really is. Unbelievable!

  • LionKing

    FFS, this woman is dangerous. Recommending mums start making their own formula with raw material is fucking scary.

  • Rusty B

    Nissen is a screaming skull that hates anything corporate.

  • RightNow

    Plunket is not going to offer up ANY recipes for formula. Plunket campaigns for breast feeding. Duh.

    It seems even the tainted formula is safer than breast feeding in China though, if this comment from the Telegraph is correct:

    “Breast milk in Chinese women is heavily contaminated with toxins the woman is exposed to living there during their lifetime.

    Fat soluable toxins include tetraethyl lead, mercury, cadnium, DDT, PCBs, and dioxin. PFCs, bromides, etc. also are excreted in breast milk.”

    • Pharmachick

      you’re partially correct, but your statements may be a bit overblown.

      One of the big issues with breast feeding is what we call “selective accumulation” of negative compounds in breast milk because of its high fat content. We’re still trying to work out the flow(s) of Mum eating and then the passage on to the infant. I work int his area every day, and we work VERY VERY hard to try and work this all out and prevent it.

      At the end of the day, breast feeding is seldom detrimental. But there are a huge number of variables.

      And, whilst you are correct that those fat-soluble contaminants can be passed on in breast milk, levels are hard to dissect, correlate and, ultimately attribute.

  • greenwelly

    Weston A Price was a crackpot dentist who believed that to improve our health we should go back to subsistence level agriculture based on his “research” that those in non-western societies had a lower rate of cavities,

    He is up there with Margaret Mead in being deluded by “noble savagery”

  • Hillary Green

    Oh dear, looks like this wo-man is seeking to exploit this terrible Fonterra affair by pushing her own products. Has she no shame?

  • DLM

    Dr Weston A Price died 65 years ago after visiting “primitive people”. Maybe Wendyl still believes the world hasn’t moved on since then or that science has moved on since Price trapped around the globe slapping Aborigines as seen here

  • drummerboy

    I have a better suggestion…. breast feed your child! giving your child milk designed for baby cows is just stupid when you could be giving your baby milk specifically designed for it from your breast. Some one should inform this woman that you have to buy her ingredients from corporations… unless of course she lives on a farm and sugar plantation.

  • Naylor

    If the NZ Herald continues to allow this mad woman to write articles in their newspaper then its a damn good reason to stop buying the paper. Crackpot ideas. If babies die as a result of taking Wendyl Nissen’s advice then the parents should sue her arse off.

  • Naylor

    Crackpot ideas from a complete nutter. If babies die as a result of taking Wendyl Nissen’s advice then she should be sued. I’m so tired of opening up the Herald on Saturday and seeing her anti-corporate diatribe attacking consumer products that aren’t made by her. Seriously the editor of the NZ Herald needs a smack in the head for allowing her to rant on each weekend.

  • Honcho

    She is little more then a raving lunatic witch. Im surprised she didn’t suggest parents try feeding babies sunlight, fit right in with her backwards pagan beliefs.

  • Travis Poulson

    She hates fonterra and anything corporate, of course she doesn’t have any vested interests in that she trying to build up her own business specializing in natural home products, remedies, foods and shit like that. I’ll be advising my wife not to buy any more of her shit, if she does its going in the bin until she stops buying it.

    That loopy lefty cow isn’t getting another fucking cent from this household.

  • DLNZ

    Seeing as I’ve done a bit of biochemistry I did a bit of a reading. According to the site, the “Liver” infant formula contains 20000IU of Vitamin A in 36oz of this homemade formula. According to Wikipedia – the maximum tolerable dose for an ADULT male is 10000 IU per day. At this level it become toxic. So just 13oz (or about 3 litres) of this “formula” in one day would be enough to cause serious toxicity problems in an ADULT.

    Cooking an egg till its “soft and warm but not hot” is definitely not going to prevent salmonella. And unpasteurised milk is a source of campylobacter – one of the most common foodborne illnesses in NZ.

    I’d rather take my chances with Fonterra thanks.

    • DLNZ

      I’ve since found several research papers on Vitamin A toxicity in infants and have put a post on her site (with links to these reports) – will be interesting to see if it gets approved by the “moderator” :P

    • Pharmachick

      DLNZ, yes you are correct. I’m a developmental Pharmacologist. This article goes beyond horrifying and well into the realms of irresponsibility.

      Vitamin A is one of most potent causes of birth defects we know, and its precursor is used in “Roaccutane” a drug known to have tremendous side effects. Roaccutane is fine for grown adults, but high levels of Vitamin A in infants such as this are to be avoided, potentially detrimental .. and I could go on. 20,000 IU of Vitamin A in an infant formula…. I’m terrified.

      • DLNZ

        Thats awesome that someone qualified has confirmed this! I’m merely a first year health science student not an expert by any means and while I keep an open mind on alternative treatments, there’s definitely some quackery and downright dangerous stuff out there.

        • Pharmachick

          DLNZ… keep up the good work – this Assoc. Prof (trained in NZ, lives in America) is impressed! And yes, I agree – not all alternative medicine is bad, but sometimes….

  • Col

    Idiot she even tells you to use Whey in the recipe, I thought that was the problem, or am I an idiot?

    • Travis Poulson

      Not a problem unless she’s adding dirty pipes to the recipe

  • FredFrog

    After reading the above, I get this picture in my head of an earth mother in a long print skirt, baggy jumper, and a scarf, with saggy tits and no bra. In other words, your average greeny loon.

    Am I far off the mark?

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Average greeny loon is correct. Stay away.
      How is your Google Fu?

      • FredFrog

        Deliberately wasn’t going there. Wanted to check if my immediate mental picture was accurate or not by polling like-minded individuals.

        Must admit, the fact that she suffers from silly first name syndrome was also a clue.

        • johcar

          She used to go by “Wendy” at college…

    • Hazards001

      Close enough…good shot archer.

    • GazzW

      This earth mother’s got plenty of dosh though and plays greenies with her fellow journos and broadcasters in their million dollar bungalows in the Peoples Republic of Grey Lynn.

  • cows4me

    Perhaps dear Wendyl was raised on such a formula, doesn’t she have problems with her pubic hair and it would definitely explain the space between her ears.

  • Pharmachick

    Oh my God, NO!

    Just NO!

    I am a developmental pharmacologist. I’ve spent years and years studying this stuff from a clinical as well as scientific perspective. I’m currently employed by a reasonably prestigious University and consult for EPA and others.

    If women take up Nissen’s suggestions, I full well expect NZ police to prosecute Nissen for acting as a medical professional without a license, for contravening the Medicines Act (1981) and for endangering the lives of infants.

    • Travis Poulson

      If you wouldn’t mind, send in a write up summarizing all your points in your previous comments that we could use as a guest post if you feel that way inclined.

      • DLNZ

        In my travels I also found this report from the University of Iowa and worked out the numbers if it helps provide some evidence to support the points that have been raised.

        It works out to be 3225 IU per 100 kCal of “formula” which according to a report on Vitamin A toxicity in infants (see link below) has been linked with 3 known cases (see table 3 in report). I’m assuming that in their website cal = kcal

        • Pharmachick

          Thank you DLNZ, but, seriously…. this is what I do darling. My entire job is *actually* working this stuff out. That being said, I thoroughly appreciate your links, they’re very helpful.

    • Pharmachick

      One thing I will take back: apparently baby/infant formula is not a prescribed item in NZ. Therefore, my statements about “medical professional without a license” as well as “Medicines Act (1981)” may not apply. *May* not. There is clearly here, a columnist writing home remedies for the masses.

 you (and Cam Slater) have my contact details. This is actually a bigger issue in NZ than one stupid blog post. But yes – the risk-assessment analysis for that type of post could be performed – as has been demonstrated by our resident undergrad sleuth on the “liver” milk. It would take me hours to work it out. But I’m confident I can do it.

  • Timboh

    Well to paraphrase RatesareRevolting She appears to be a “fucking cunt” and I would guess a part of the phrase is true. To attack one of our biggest exporters that allow her to live with the services we have is, wait for it…. biting the hand that feeds her.