Sunday, 5 May 2013

Nestle and Danone STILL marketing baby formula unethically

BFTF was gobsmacked to read an article in the Guardian that described how Danone were marketing their baby formula unethically in Indonesia (definitely worth reading the comments section of the article as it gives an interesting spread of views and links for further information).

A little more digging reveals that Save the Children are so concerned about the practices of Danone and Nestle that they have set up a petition to call for the companies to abide by the WHO code of practice on Formula Milk marketing (which BFTF urges you to read). One example given is the marketing of Nestle formula in Egypt in 2010 with the words 'Strengthening the immune defenses and reducing the incidence of diarrhea in the crucial first year of life.' whereas the truth is that babies fed on baby milk are proven to be more likely to suffer diarrhoea and short and long-term illnesses than breastfed babies.

Another organisation campaigning in this area is Baby Milk Action. BFTF used the email form there to send the following (words crafted by BFTF, btw) to the Head of Marketing at Nestle:

"What is the matter with you people at Nestle? Why are you STILL incapable of following the WHO code of conduct on Formula Milk marketing? I had recently started buying your Fairtrade chocolate products - but having heard of your continued flouting of thre WHO code of conductI will be taking my business elsewhere and will encourage others to do so as well."
Nestle have prducts across many sectors, including Cereal, Chocolate, Coffee and Dairy

Similarly, sent the following to Danone via their website

"What is the matter with you people at Danone? Why are you STILL incapable of following the WHO code of conduct on Formula Milk marketing? Until you do, I won't buy any of your (many) products and will encourage others to do the same."
Danone products include Activia, Actimel, Danio, Oykos, Shape, Evian, Volvic, Aptamil, Cow & Gate and Nutricia.

Avaaz also have a campaign in this area

Finally, to finish on a positive note, it is worth noting that progress has been made since the dark days of the 1980s. Isla Fisher reported to Save the Children that, in Brazil, breastfeeding rates have risen dramatically from 3.6% to 40% since 1986. Which goes to show that campaigning (both local and international) really does make a difference.

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