But I have to wonder how accurate this statement is.
The second thing I wonder is, is it purely about surviving versus not surviving? Isn't the big picture about health too? ie how healthy that surviving person is long term? So we should be looking for the best alternative? The one that proffers the least risk of illness, disease and yes even death - not just in infancy, or childhood but ever reaching into adulthood.
If infant formula wasn't about, would babies be dying in droves? Or would someone step up and ensure that all mothers had the right to obtain donated same species milk? Whilst we have this "nearly as good" mentality around hugely profitable bovine based substitutes, where's the hurry in developing a costly appropriate milk banking system?
Of course this logic is fundamentally flawed given the cost of not breastfeeding to the NHS is massive longterm.
So in effect, this "lifesaving" alternative that we "should be grateful for", is actually the very thing that for many women undermine breastfeeding in the first place. Lack of effective support, a belief that actually breastfeeding doesn't really matter, debates over whether it is appropriate to give the milk of our own species in a public place? Booby traps galore, a belief breast is "best" and formula is "normal". All only made possible because of this alternative.
The Politics of Breastfeeding is the book to cover this topic in detail, but THIS and the short video below are a start.