This morning, I watched the French news on SBS and discovered two fascinating things that have not yet appeared on Australian news.  It is true that, with the elections tomorrow, our news programmes are mostly involved in Australian nombril-gazing.  And, because I’ve had a serious overdose of elections, I turned for a little light relief to France.  Unfortunately, France, too, is in election mode, but it still has time to look at things happening elsewhere.

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I discovered that at least three Chinese baby girls, each only a few months old, had started growing breasts, as if they were at puberty.  Naturally, their mothers rushed them straight off to the doctor.  The three girls live in the same town, but I don’t know whether or not they have the same doctor.

The first baby had tests performed on her, and it was discovered that the level of hormones in her body was over three times higher than normal.  Her doctor advised the mother to change the brand of powdered milk that she was feeding her.

Since the change, her breasts have stopped developing, and have almost returned to normal for a young baby, although one of them is still a bit hard.  The two other mothers also changed their babies’ powdered milk, and their babies’ breasts have now returned to normal.

The milk is a Chinese brand, but the company claims that the problem did not come from their milk

However, one mother was very indignant about having been contacted by the company and offered the equivalent of 200 euros.  She answered that her baby’s health was worth much more than that.  It was worth much more than 20,000 euros.  The company contacted her again to ask if she would be happy with 20,000 euros, and if she was ready to negotiate.  The lady is now even more indignant.  I should think so.  Why is the company offering money, anyway, if the problem didn’t come from their milk?

It is true that no-one seems to have tested the milk, and the babies all live in the same town, so there could be another reason for the anomaly, but it does seem strange that the problem went away when the babies changed milk brands.  Coincidence?  They do happen.

The Chinese government is prudently staying out of the conversation.  The accused milk brand is sold throughout China and, over the next few months, if the hormones are in the milk, other babies could be affected.

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The second thing that I learned from the French news is that our moon is shrinking.  American scientists have been measuring it and, by making different comparisons (for details, contact NASA) have come to the conclusion that, while the Earth is heating up, our moon is getting colder, which is making it contract.  It has apparently lost 100 metres fairly recently.

The French waxed poetic about it, comparing our moon to a drying apple, or an old lady whose skin is wrinkling, and asked, rhetorically, what she must have looked like when she was young.  I doubt that Australian newsreaders will indulge in such speculation, even if they bother to report it at all.

I definitely should have remained in France.  Particularly as I am now in my twilight years.  Although, I’m certainly not nearly as old as the moon.

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