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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.

The tables below give details of some recent violations.

Read company responses received so far

To be added to the International Nestlé Boycott email discussion group send an email to subscribe by clicking here (or send an email to intnestleboycott-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk).


Companies exposed in new monitoring report

Background:

Members of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) from around the world monitor baby food companies against the Code and Resolutions. Monitoring results from recent exercises are gathered together in the report Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2004, which profiles the 16 biggest baby food companies. Nestlé is once again found to be responsible for more violations than any of its competitors.

Company responses to violations highlighted on these action sheets demonstrate their refusal to accept the validity of the Code and Resolutions and their attempts to excuse blatant malpractice through denials and deception. Judge what the companies are doing yourself by downloading the report from the IBFAN website or ordering a copy from Baby Milk Action (tel: 01223 464420, price £10 including UK postage and packing (£30 for for-profit organisations).

Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2004 presents evidence of violations from 69 countries. It describes 2,000 violations and includes over 700 pictures of the companies’ own materials. Some exaples are given here.


The report was launched at the UK Parliament on 13 May 2004 in conjunction with a motion from Members of Parliament calling for action to stop malpractice and for new WHA Resolutions to address new trends.

A DVD and video of the report launch are available from Baby Milk Action for £10 including UK postage and packing (45 minute film with bonus 15 minute film of the 2004 demonstration at Nestlé (UK) HQ.

The report gives the contact details of the companies enabling you to write directly to the Chief Executives who put their own profits before infant health. See below for a letter to the worst of the baby food companies: Nestlé


Nestlé still the worst of the baby food companies

Nestlé is again responsible for more violations in IBFAN's latest monitoring report than any other company. Nestlé not only violates the marketing requirements for infant formula and other breastmilk substitutes, it promotes other products irresponsibly.

Encouraging the use of Nido whole milk for bottle-feeding, as on this 2003 calendar in the Dominican Republic, is the height of irresponsibility.

Nestlé has acknowledged that its whole milk is totally unsuitable for infant feeding, but argues that as it is not a proper breastmilk substitute it can market it how it likes (click here to read Nestlé's letter in response to an earlier campaign on this issue).

Suggested letter to the man responsible: Nestlé Chief Executive Officer, Peter Brabeck-Letmathé, Nestlé S.A., Av. Nestlé 55, CH-1800 Vevey, Switzerland. Fax: + 41 21 924 2813. (You can select the text below and copy and paste it into a word-processor or into the comment page on the Nestlé site. Note Nestlé keeps changing the address of the comment page. If the link to it is dead go via http://www.nestle.com/).

IBFAN’s Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2004 report shows Nestlé aggressively marketing infant formula and other breastmilk substitutes in violation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly. Your continued malpractice and refusal to bring your company’s marketing policies and instructions to staff into line with the Code and Resolutions, as requested by IBFAN and UNICEF, is deplorable.

Nestlé frequently attempts to divert attention from its aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes by highlighting that some mothers living in poverty use unsuitable substances for infant feeding, such as whole milks. As you are aware this happens, why does Nestlé continue to promote whole milks in the infant feeding sections of pharmacies and supermarkets? Why has Nestlé produced a 2003 calendar in the Dominican Republic showing a young girl giving her doll a feeding bottle, with Nido whole milk on display behind her?

This attempt to gain extra profit from mothers who have been persuaded not to breastfeed, but cannot afford your infant formula, demonstrates the contempt you show for the mothers who you claim trust your company.


Please help to save Brazil’s baby food marketing law

Background:

Brazil is achieving significant increases in breastfeeding rates thanks, in part, to its strong law implementing the Code and Resolutions, but the law is now under attack. The law was recently revised and now covers baby food for children up to three years of age. The previous law covered products for children up to one year of age and it was found companies undermined breastfeeding in the ways they promoted milks and other foods for children over one year of age (you can read the history of the campaign for Brazil's law in the IBFAN report, Checks and Balances in the Global Economy: Using International Tools to Stop Corporate Malpractice - Does it Work?).

The law introduced in 2003 requires whole milks to carry a 'Ministry of Health Warning' stating the product should not be used for infant feeding except on the specific advice of a health worker. As we have exposed in the past, Nestlé promotes its whole milk, Ninho, in the infant feeding sections of supermarkets and pharmacies alongside infant formula costing three times the price (click here for Neslé's gallery of shame and see the picture above).

Poor mothers who have decided or been persuaded not to breastfeed often use whole milk in place of formula, increasing the risk of ill health. Nestlé claims that as whole milk is not a bona fide breastmilk substitute it can market it however it likes and has refused to remove it from the infant feeding sections (click here to read Nestlé's letter). It does, however, put the health warning on the labels in Brazil as required by the law.

News has now reached us that there is to be a challenge to the law in the Brazilian congress by the milk companies which object to having to put the 'Ministry of Health Warning' on their products.

Action:

Please send a message to the following people, identified by campaigners in Brazil, asking them to stand firm against industry pressure. You can send your letter c/o Baby Milk Action, by email or via an on-line form as shown below. You can select and copy the text below then click on the email address to open a new email window in your email programme or to go to the on-line form, then paste the text and add an appropriate subject line and greeting and edit as you wish. You can send your message in English, but if you are able to write in Portuguese, please do so.

E-mail addresses:

Deputado Leonardo Vilela
D
eputy Chief of the Chamber responsible for Food issues
E-mail: dep.leonardovilela@camara.gov.br

(If you wish to send messages to other members of the Congress, you can find e-mail addresses here: http://www.camara.gov.br/INTERNET/DEPUTADO/Dep_Lista.asp)

Dr Humberto Costa
Minister of Health
On-line message form: http://portalweb01.saude.gov.br/saude/area.cfm?id_area=143

Dr Claudio Mayerovich
President - National Health Inspection Agency (responsible for enforcing the law)
E-mail: infovisa@anvisa.gov.br
On-line message form: http://www.anvisa.gov.br/scriptsweb/faleconosco/mail.asp
Website: http://www.anvisa.org.br/

Dr Ricardo Oliva
Chief of Food Sector - President - National Health Inspection Agency (responsible for enforcing the law)
E-mail: infovisa@anvisa.gov.br
On-line message form: http://www.anvisa.gov.br/scriptsweb/faleconosco/mail.asp
Website: http://www.anvisa.org.br/

Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation
Brazil office
E-mail: pending
Website: http://www.paho.org/

UNICEF Brazil
E-mail: brasilia@unicef.org
Website: http://www.unicef.org.br/

Suggested message:

Brazil is admired around the world for its success in promoting and defending breastfeeding. As well as its famous milk bank network and imaginative promotional methods, such as the baby friendly postal workers and fire workers, Brazil's implementation of marketing requirements for baby foods is seen as an example for others to follow.

It is a great concern, therefore, to learn of the attempt by milk companies to weaken the Brazilian Regulations RDC N║ 222 (Regulamento Técnico para Promoção Comercial de Alimentos para Lactentes e Crianças de Primeira Infância) by questioning the need for warnings on the labels of products, such as whole milks. The inappropriate use of whole milks for infant feeding is well known, and monitoring shows that some companies actually encourage this. Strong warnings are, therefore, essential to ensure mothers are aware that whole milk should not be used for infant feeding.

I ask you to do all you can to defend the Regulations against this irresponsible attack and to monitor company marketing practices to evaluate whether it needs strengthening in other areas. For example, it is a great concern that nothing can presently be done to stop companies promoting whole milks in the infant feeding sections of pharmacies and supermarkets alongside infant formula.

 


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