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Take action to stop these violations of the International Code of Breast-milk Substitutes. The people responsible have names and addresses.

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.

November 1997

Nestlé arrives in Armenia - new market - old methods

Violation Reference 
Promotion of infant formula and complementary foods in Armenia
September 1997 

Inhabitants of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia in the Caucusus, are becoming increasingly aware of Nestlé through its promotional campaigns.  As this is an emerging market the International Code has not yet been implemented in legislation.  Not only is Nestlé failing to live up to its obligation to follow the International Code irrespective of other measures it is using promotional methods (such as the advertising of infant formula) which have been successfully stopped in many countries.

Nestl? Cerelac advertised on tramsNestl? Nan infant formula advertised on distributors van

  • The above pictures were taken in Yerevan, Armenia at the end of September 1997.  Nestlé's Cerelac complementary foods are being advertised on buses and trams and  Naninfant formula is advertised on the vehicles of its distributors.  Similar advertisements for Nestlé's Alsoy formula have also appeared on the vehicles of Nestlé's distributors.  Article 5.1 of the International Codebans advertising or other forms of promotion to the general public.

Other promotional methods have included:

  • Leaflets for products covered by the International Code  have been placed in shops, yet Articles 5.1 and 5.3  ban the promotion of such products in retail outlets.
  • Nestlé Infant formula has been advertised on television  and its complementary foods continue to be promoted in this way.  Article 5.1 bans advertisements and World Health Assembly Resolution WHA49.15 makes it clear that complementary foods should not be marketed in ways that may undermine breastfeeding.

Nestlé is also promoting Nido whole milk powder in Armenia.  Whole milk is unsuitable for infants, but no warning appears on the label.  Nestlé does provide this warning on a separate leaflet, indicating that it is fully aware that such a warning is necessary.

Write to Nestlé requesting that it:

  • stops the violations of the International Code referred to above.
  • labels whole milk powder as unsuitable for infants.
  • details the steps it will take to ensure that such violations are not repeated in Armenia or any other country.


Complain to 
Promotion of a products covered by the International Code to the general public Mr. Peter Brabeck,    
CEO Nestlé,    
55, av. Nestlé,    
1800 Vevey,    

Inappropriate language in Kenya

Violation Reference 
Wyeth, Nutricia, Mead Johnson, Abbott-Ross 
Labels not in the appropriate language (Government requires Kiswahili) 
October 1997 

Kenya was one of the first countries to implement the International Code, introducing the Kenyan Code for Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes in 1983.  Yet companies continue to violate these measures.  One area of concern is the failure of companies to label products in the "appropriate language", which the Kenyan Code defines as Kiswahili.

Wyeth made an undertaking to translate labels in 1995 following a complaint from the Kenyan Breastfeeding Information Group.  Two years later products including Nursoy, Promil and a number in the SMA range continue to be labelled in English only.

The following companies also fail to label in Kiswahili:

  • Nutricia (Milupa Baby Meals, Firstsand Cuisine)
  • Mead Johnson (Prosobee)
  • Abbott-Ross (Isomil)

Write to the companies concerned and request that:

  • they label products in the "appropriate language" as required by the International Code (Article 9.2) andthe Kenyan Code (Article 8.2)
  • they include all necessary warnings and no text or images which may idealise artificial infant feeding or   undermine breastfeeding.


Complain to 
International Code 9.2 requires that labels are "in an appropriate language." Mr. Klaas de Jong,
General Manager,
Rokkeveenseweg 49
2712 PJ Zoetermeer
The Netherlands   

Mr. John R. Stafford,
CEO, Wyeth (American Home Products),
PO Box 8616,
Pennsylvania 19101, USA.   

Mr. Peter R. Dolan,
Mead Johnson Nutritional Group,
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company,
2400 W. Lloyd Expressway,
Evansville, Indiana 47721   

Mr. Duane L. Burnham,
Chief Executive Officer,
Abbott Laboratories,
1 Abbott Park Road,
Abbott Park,
IL 60064-3500,

HIPP threatens UK agreement

Violation Reference 
New follow-on milk launched in the UK is labelled for use from 4 months 
November 1997 

German baby food company HIPP is known for widespread violations of the World Health Assembly's labelling requirements relating to age of use.  For example, its infant teas are labelled for use from one week of age in some markets.  Now HIPP has launched a new follow-on milk in the UK labelled for use from 4 months.  This threatens the agreement made by other companies in the UK to label follow-on milks only for use from 6 months of age, which was brought about by pressure from Baby Milk Action.  This is in line with World Health Assembly Resolution WHA47.5 which calls for complementary feeding to be fostered from the age of about 6 months.

Write to HIPP and request that it

  • respects WHA47.5 and labels its new Follow-on Milk Drink as unsuitable for babies under 6 months of age.
  • undertakes to abide by the International Code and not advertise or promote its product to the general public and limits itself to providing scientific and factual information to health workers.

Complain to 
Labels recommend use from 4 months of age Mr. Klaus Hipp,    
General Manager,    
Hipp K.G.,    
Postfach 1551,    
85265 Pfaffenhofen,    

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