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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. The date when the violation was last reported to Baby Milk Action or confirmed to be current is given. The violation reference is for Baby Milk Action's records. Please quote it if forwarding correspondence to us, if possible.

More evidence of malpractice in Pakistan as administration moves ahead with new law


A former Nestlé employee, Syed Aamar Raza, has provided internal company documents exposing Nestlé baby food marketing malpractice in Pakistan (see March 2000 action sheet). This has received publicity around the world prompting Nestlé to commission an external audit of its company in Pakistan, known as Nestlé Milkpak. Baby Milk Action offered to provide information to the auditors, but this was ignored. When the report was launched in London on 23rd May, the auditors admitted that they had agreed with Nestlé not to make contact with independent organisations or with Mr. Raza.

Had the auditors contacted us in advance they would have known that UNICEF wrote to Nestlé in November 1997, criticising Nestlé's narrow interpretation of the Code. Unfortunately the auditors appear to have used Nestlé's incorrect interpretation for their work.

We are also disappointed that the auditors did not even attempt to verify the truth of Mr. Raza's evidence, stating: "This study does not represent an attempt to investigate any of the allegations made, either by The Network or by Mr. Raza." Instead the auditors looked at a snapshot of current documents and interviewed Nestlé staff and health workers from a list provided by Nestlé.

The auditors did find some Nestlé violations, but dismiss them as insignificant. For example, gifts to doctors are judged to be promoting "goodwill" rather than "inducements to promote products." While Nestlé marketing staff claimed to do nothing wrong they told the auditors that their competitors frequently violate the marketing requirements. The Executive Summary from the audit report, which includes this accusation, is on Nestlé's website - Below we ask you to write to the companies implicated by the claims made by Nestlé marketing staff.

Independent evidence demonstrates that these companies, along with Nestlé, violate the International Code and Resolutions. At the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2000 it was reported that the new administration in Pakistan is moving ahead with introducing legislation which will provide a way to stop the malpractice. We again ask you to write to support the introduction of legislation.

You could send a message along the following lines to encourage implementation of the draft law to Baby Milk Action's partner organisation: The Network-Association for Rational Use of Medication in Pakistan, 60-A, St: 39, F-10/4, Islamabad, Pakistan. Fax: +92 51 291552:

It is reported that at the World Health Assembly in May your organisation The Network - Association for Rational use of Medication in Pakistan congratulated the Pakistan administration for taking action to bring in a law regulating the marketing of baby foods. I wish to support this initiative.

Monitoring of the baby food industry demonstrates violations of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements around the world. Your report Milking Profits documents malpractice by Nestlé Milkpak in Pakistan. In the UK in May a report commissioned by Nestlé, involving the firm Enterprise and Development Consulting, Pakistan, was launched in response to your report. Nestlé's report states that: "There is a view prevailing amongst [Nestlé Milkpak] Medical Delegates and ADEs that their competitors violate the Code frequently."

The sooner the law is introduced, the sooner all companies will have no choice but to act responsibly.

Abbott, Wyeth, NUMICO, Meiji and Morinaga implicated by Nestlé audit

Violation Reference
Abbott, Wyeth, NUMICO, Meiji, Morinaga
Nestlé staff accuse competitors in Pakistan of "frequent violations".
May 2000


In 1998 the Pakistan IBFAN group The Network - Association for Rational Use of Medication in Pakistan, published a monitoring report called Feeding Fiasco. The report was the result of monitoring in 33 cities and showed systematic marketing malpractice from the baby food companies operating in Pakistan. Nestlé marketing staff have now confirmed that companies violate the marketing requirements, although they contradict the independent evidence by claiming they do nothing wrong themselves. Please write to the companies operating in Pakistan, asking them to abide by the International Code and Resolutions.

Suggested points for letters to the men responsible:

  • Mr. Duane L. Burnham, Chief Executive Officer, Abbott Laboratories, 1 Abbott Park Road, Abbott Park, IL 60064-3500, USA. Fax:+1 847 938 1342
  • Mr. John R. Stafford, CEO, Wyeth (American Home Products), PO Box 8616, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101, USA. Fax +1 610 688 6228
  • Mr. Klaas de Jonge, Director, Numico, Rokkeveemseweg 49, 2712 PJ Zoetermeet, Netherlands. Fax: +31 79 3539 620
  • Hishashi Nakayama, President, Meiji, 2-3-6 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8381, Japan. Fax: +81 3 3281 4717
  • Gota Morinaga, President and CEO, 5-33-1 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8403, Japan. Fax: +81 3 3769 6129

A report on baby food marketing in Pakistan commissioned by Nestlé was recently launched in the UK. The Executive Summary can be found on Nestlé's website ( Nestlé Pakistan staff accuse their competitors of violating the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The summary states: "There is a view prevailing amongst [Nestlé] Medical Delegates and Area Detailing Executives that their competitors violate the Code frequently."

As your company operates in Pakistan it is implicated by this allegation.

The campaigning group Baby Milk Action also states that your company violates the marketing requirements, but dismisses Nestlé's claim that its staff do not.

Please take action to bring your activities into line with the requirements.

More on the EU hearings

As we have reported in the past, the baby food industry will be investigated by the European Parliament's Committee on Development and Cooperation soon. It is very important that MEPs are encouraged to attend the Committee to hear the evidence. It is likely that there will be debates in the Parliament to address the concerns arising from the hearings. If you live within the European Union, please write to your representatives in the European Parliament.

Suggested letter:

I am writing to encourage you to attend the Committee on Development and Cooperation meeting scheduled for 13th July in Brussels (date to be confirmed). The Committee will be investigating the baby food industry as part of its hearings on EU Standards for European Enterprises Operating in Developing Countries.

I think it is very important that European companies abide by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly. According to UNICEF, reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save the lives of 1.5 million infants around the world every year.

Complaints have been made to the European Commission about the marketing activities of a number of European businesses, but no action has so far been taken. I hope you will be able to attend the meeting to find out more and will do what you can to end irresponsible marketing of breastmilk substitutes.

The contact details of your country's MEPs are on

If you are in the UK, you can telephone the European Parliament Office on 020 7227 43000.


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