Originally, the ads featured striking photos of insulin syringes and asthma inhalers topped with rubber nipples. The revised ads ran with more friendly images
of dandelions and cherry-topped ice cream scoops, to dramatize how breast-feeding could help avert respiratory problems and obesity.
In a February 2004 letter, the lobbyists told then-HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson they were "grateful" for his staff's intervention to stop health officials from "scaring expectant mothers into breast-feeding," and asked for help in scaling back more of the ads. Congress is scrutinizing the intervention in the wake of last month's testimony by former surgeon general Richard H. Carmona that the Bush administration allowed political considerations to interfere with his efforts to promote public health.