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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

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Nestlé’s idealising leaflets in Egypt and Vietnam


The leaflets shown on this page were found in Egypt and Vietnam recently. They demonstrate how Nestlé idealises artificial infant feeding and undermines breastfeeding.

This leaflet promotes Lactogen 1 infant formula for brain, body and bone development. It was found in a clinic in Vietnam, but not all the text has been translated. Click here for a larger version.

The International Code limits companies to providing scientific and factual information to health workers. Nestlé’s leaflets idealise its infant formulas by, for example, suggesting they are ‘The perfect Start...’

Idealising leaflets with similar messages to these are sometimes found being given to mothers in health facilities. Nestlé claims they are intended for health workers only, but appears to produce and distribute them in bulk so they are passed on to mothers.

This leaflet found in Egypt, idealises Nan 1 infant formula by claiming: "The perfect START with guaranteed protein, fat, carbohydrates and beyond..." Click here for a larger version.

You can’t trust Nestlé

Why is Nestlé holding ‘absorbing 15-minute talks on baby feeding’ in South Africa (see advertisement below). UNICEF’s Legal Officer, who advises governments on interpretation of the Code, has stated previously: Article 5.5 of the Code states quite clearly that the marketing personnel of companies manufacturing products within the scope of the Code, in their business capacity, “should not seek direct or indirect contact of any kind with pregnant women or with mothers of infants and young children.” (emphasis added). Hence, any form of contact with mothers of children under the age of three years is prohibited, irrespective of the motivation behind the contact.’ (Click here for a copy of the letter sent to Baby Milk Action).

Nestlé clearly understands this, as its Senior Policy Advisor has stated in public and on the record on several occasions: 'The only contact that I would say with the mother is through the label.' (see press release Nestlé runs from debate with Mark Thomas - and loses yet again to Baby Milk Action). The advertisement above and the baby clubs Nestlé runs in many countries (see other action sheets) show Nestlé is not telling the truth.

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 cut 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

You claim that Nestlé abides by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and that you personally investigate any hint of a violation.

Perhaps you can explain why Nestlé is producing leaflets which idealise infant formula, such as its Lactogen 1 leaflet in Vietnam promoting the product for brain body and bone development and its Nan 1 leaflet in Egypt which claims the formula is ‘The perfect START’. As you know the Code limits companies to providing scientific and factual information to health workers, but these leaflets idealise artificial feeding and so undermine breastfeeding.

Article 5.5 of the Code states: ‘Marketing personnel, in their business capacity, should not seek direct or indirect contact of any kind with pregnant women or with mothers of infants and young children.’ In October 2003 Nestlé was advertising in the media in South Africa: 'Hey mums, Nestlé Blue Bear and the Baby-Care Friends are in town’ and inviting mothers to ‘an absorbing 15-minute talk on baby feeding.’ Such practices demonstrate Nestlé’s disregard for the World Health Assembly marketing requirements.

I request you take action to stop this and other malpractice reported to you immediately.


Please help health campaigners in Pakistan


Despite opposition from the baby food industry, principally Nestlé, the Government of Pakistan has introduced legislation implementing the International Code and Resolutions. This was prompted in large part by the courageous stand taken by former Nestlé-employee and whistle-blower Syed Aamar Raza (who has not seen his wife and two young children since September 1999, as he fears returning to Pakistan).

The law does not implement all the provisions of the Code and Resolutions, but it is a useful starting point for health campaigners in Pakistan. They are asking for help in calling on the Government authorities to produce the rules and regulations that go with the law as soon as possible and to ensure that these do not introduce further weaknesses.

Please send a letter to: Mr. Nasser Khan, The Federal Minister of Health, Pak, Secretariat, Block "C", Islamabad, Pakistan. Fax: +92 920290 with a copy to Baby Milk Action.

I welcome the adoption of the Ordinance for the Protection of Breastfeeding and Young Child Nutrition. I look forward to the publication of the rules and regulations required to put the Ordinance into effect so that the aggressive baby food marketing practices we hear about in my country can be challenged.

The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and the subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly, from which your Ordinance draws inspiration, are important measures. They do not ban the marketing of breastmilk substitutes, but do prohibit all forms of advertising and promotion, limiting companies to providing scientific and factual information to health workers.

In drawing up your rules we specifically urge you to ensure that baby food companies are not involved in the monitoring of the Ordinance. Many governments, anxious to build public confidence in mechanisms for ensuring food safety, have recognised the risks of such involvement and not included the industry Article 11.3 of the Code requires companies to monitor their own activities independently of government measures. The provision of company produced ‘educational’ materials and sponsorship of health workers, is also a concern as this undermines the provision of objective information to parents.

Growth in the infant the infant feeding market in Pakistan can only mean thousands more infants being deprived of their mother’s milk and facing illness and even death, leaving Pakistani families and health services with the burden of picking up these costs. Best wishes for your endeavours to prevent this happening.


Nestlé promises to put stickers on violating products in Bulgaria

Many thanks to everyone who wrote to Nestlé about its broken promise over labelling of complementary foods (See Campaign for Ethical Marketing June 2003). Nestlé responded to campaigners and Baby Milk Action (click here for the full text):

‘From the end of June 2003 NO infant cereals in Bulgaria are recommended from four months. "From six months" stickers have been put on all products previously recommended from four months. It is confirmed that the SINLAC advertisement was discontinued at the end of June.’

Nestlé still has a way to go as products in the shops are not yet with the stickers and some products are being labelled for use from 5 months. We continue to monitor the situation.

Nestlé is still refusing to make changes required by the Health Department in Hong Kong, saying ‘consultations’ are in process. The Department policy is already clearly defined as ‘6 months’.


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