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Is Nestlé really allowed to advertise infant formula in Africa?

What do you think? Take our poll

Update 15 April: 100% of people so far say that Nestlé is breaking the International Code with the shelf talkers shown below. So why is Tom Levitt MP accepting Nestlé's assurances and defending the company? See:

On our March 2008 Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheet, we have targeted a formula promotion in South Africa. The following supermarket shelf talker was found in December 2007.

Nestle shelf talker

Nestlé claims: "Nestlé was the first company to voluntarily adopt the WHO Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (the WHO Code) as a minimum standard in all developing countries."

Our complaint about the promotion is based on it being a violation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. Companies are expected under Article 11.3 to abide by this independently of government measures.

Nestlé attacks Baby Milk Action's complaints of violations by saying our interpretation of the Code is incorrect.

So is Nestlé complying with the 'minimum standard' of the Code in Africa when it is advertising infant formula? What do you think?

What the Code and Nestlé Instructions say

Article 5.1 of the Code: "There should be no advertising or other form of promotion to the general public of products within the scope of this Code."

Article 2: "The Code applies to the marketing, and practices related thereto, of the following products: breastmilk substitutes, including infant formula..."

Article 5.3 of the Code: "...there should be no point-of-sale advertising, giving of samples, or any other promotion device to induce sales directly to the consumer at the retail level, such as special displays, discount coupons, premiums, special sales, loss leaders and tie-in sales, for products within the scope of this Code."

The Nestlé Infant Formula Policy in Developing Countries: "NESTLE DOES NOT advertise or promote infant formula to the public."

Undisputed fact: Nestlé is defending advertising Nan infant formula in South Africa while also claiming the Code is its minimum standard.

Question: Is Nestlé correct? Taking the International Code as a minimum standard, can Nestlé advertise infant formula in Africa?

This vote is now closed.





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