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Take action to stop these violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The people responsible have names and addresses - call on them to market their products ethically.

Read company responses received so far

Click here to download the campaign sheet as a pdf file.

Click on the images below to see larger versions.

CEM shot

Note: Nestlé spends a fortune promoting its 'shared value' reports boasting of its "positive impact on millions of people across the world" - click here.

Can you send us a few pounds to help us to expose Nestlé's marketing practices and stop violations of the marketing requirements?


Nestlé bosses misleading mothers

Background: Nestlé claims that if there are violations these are due to local management making mistakes and that the Chief Executive 'investigates any hint of a violation'. However, there can be no clearer evidence that strategies to push formula and undermine breastfeeding come from the top of the company than the proud display of formula tins chosen to represent the Infant Nutrition business at Nestlé's shareholder meeting in April. The labels claim that the formula 'protects' infants, despite the fact that babies fed on it are more likely to become sick and, in conditions of poverty more likely to die than breastfed infants.
Nestle formula at the AGM
This is one of the cases included in the report Nestlé's UN Global Compact Cover Up, submitted by Nestlé Critics to the office of this United Nations initiative demanding Nestlé be expelled.
The Global Compact calls on companies to abide by human rights and the rule of law, but it is voluntary and is not enforced or monitored - though companies can be charged with bringing it into disrepute. Nestlé does just that by flouting the rules, while producing glossy publications boasting that it complies and citing its involvement in the Global Compact when people raise concerns about its practices. Concerns like the following.
Global Compact report

Baby Milk Action and its partners hailed a major victory at the end of 2007 when the Philippines Supreme Court allowed Department of Health formula marketing regulations to go ahead: pharmaceutical companies had brought a legal challenge and Nestlé tried to have UNICEF and WHO representatives removed for defending breastfeeding. Monitoring of the regulations shows that Nestlé is flouting them - and Article 5.5 of the International Code. For example it gives gifts, like this baby book and promotes the Nestlé Club, which includes a survey asking for ages of family members and use of milks by children of 1-year of age.

Article 5.5 prohibits seeking direct and indirect contact with mothers of infants and young children, that is children up to 3 years of age. UNICEF has previously stated that: "any form of contact with mothers of children under 3 years is prohibited, irrespective of the motivation behind the contact."

Nestle gift

Nestle club

Right, an end-of-aisle display of Nestlé formula in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world.

Following a 3-year Baby Milk Action campaign, Nestlé changed its labels to include Chichewa, the national language (previously Nestlé said it wasn't economically viable to do so) and to show cup feeding, which is easier to do hygenically than bottle feeding. But the warnings are undermined by the prominent 'Protect' logo.

Although mothers overwhelmingly breastfeed in Malawi, displays are more prominent that in bottle feeding cultures such as the UK. Coincidence?

Tin display

Nestle Nan with 'protects' claim

Suggested letter to the man responsible (select the text and copy and paste it into a letter, email or online form): Mr. Paul Bulcke, Nestlé S.A. Avenue Nestlé 55, Vevey 1800, Switzerland. Fax: +41 21 924 4800. Or see the comment form at

I am writing to you to protest that Nestlé markets its formula with claims that it 'protects' babies, when babies fed on it are at greater risk of short and long-term illness than breastfed babies. Such labels were displayed at your shareholder meeting this year, proving that these strategies come right from the top of Nestlé.

This strategy is being used in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. While it is welcome that Nestlé added the national language of Malawi to labels following a Baby Milk Action campaign, it is the height of irresponsibility that you are underming 'breast is best' messages with your 'protect' logo. I also ask you to act to investigate and stop special displays of formula in retail outlets in Malawi and elsewhere.

I am also concerned that Nestlé is targeting mothers of young children (up to 3 years of age) in the Philippines in breach of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes with the Nestlé Club and gifts such as the My Baby's Record Book. The Philippines Regulations prohibit company activities targeting women of reproductive age.


Danone's Milupa Aptamil follow-on formula not 'the best' concludes watchdog

Background:The UK Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints brought by Baby Milk Action over an advertisement for the Milupa Aptamil brand of follow-on formula, now owned by Danone.

The advertisement had claimed that Aptamil is the ‘best follow-on milk’ and claimed an ingredient called IMMUNOFORTIS (a brand name), helped to protect against infection. The ASA conducted an investigation lasting nearly two years and, after investigating Danone's attempted justification, found the advertisement had breached the advertising code clauses on substantiation, truthfulness and comparisons.
Misleading ad

In the same report, the ASA also ruled against an advertisement for Danone's Cow & Gate brand, which similarly claimed it supported the immune system. The National Childbirth Trust had queried the truth of the claim.

While the claims are untrue, the confused and weak nature of the formula marketing law in the UK means that Danone may get away with continuing to use them on labels, websites and elsewhere. You can send a message to Danone asking it to respect the ruling around the world.

Misleading ad

Suggested message to the man responsible (select the text and copy and paste it into a letter, email or online form): Frank Riboud, CEO, Danone, 7 rue de Teheran, 75381 Paris, France. Fax: +33 1 42 25 67 16 or via

I am contacting you following the ruling by the UK Advertising Standards Authority that claims made about Milupa Aptamil and Cow & Gate formulas breach advertising code clauses on substantiation, truthfulness and comparisons.

You have been ordered not to run advertisements with claims that Aptamil is the 'best follow-on milk' and that IMMUNOFORTIS and other ingredients in your formulas support the immune system. In the press, your company has said it accepts this ruling. As you know, the Guidance Notes for the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations 2007 state: "Claims about follow-on formula which the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have found to be unsubstantiated should not be used in advertising. Manufacturers should also consider such judgements when developing their labelling, websites and other promotional materials."

Beyond this, will Danone undertake to remove all such claims from its labels and stop promoting breastmilk substitutes, not only in the UK, but around the world? Parents should not be subjected to your unsubstantiated and untrue claims.


Mead Johnson - the best start in life?

Background: Mead Johnson has been exposed in Breaking the Rules reports for advertising that suggests its formula prevents blurred vision.

In August 2009, it states on its website that it aims to be 'trusted to give infants and children the best start in life'. It falsely gives the impression that it is achieving this aim of supplanting breastmilk - the best start in life - with claims about its Enfamil Premium formula.

However, systematic reviews of studies on the addition of ingredients purporting to give benefits show that the claims are not substantiated.


Send a message to the man responsible: Stephen W. Golsby, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Fourth Floor, 2701 Patriot Blvd., Glenview, IL 60026, USA. or via

I am contacting you regarding your claims that Enfamil Premium formula: 'is clinically-proven to promote healthy growth, brain and eye development, and immune system and respiratory health.'

Systematic reviews by the Cochrane Library of studies on the additon of Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and oligosaccharides to formula shows such claims are not substantiated.

I call on you to stop all promotion of breastmilk substitutes and remove claims from labels.




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