Email update : 9 May 2011
- 21 May 11:00 - 12:00: Nestlé demonstration in Croydon, at other sites and on the web
- Nestlé needs to stop violating baby milk code says new board member
- How responsive are companies to reports of violations? Nestlé 3% - Danone 50%
- European Parliament votes to block DHA health claim - but not by a large enough majority
Nestlé, Good Grief! - The Musical: Demonstrations 21 May 11:00 - 12:00
The annual demonstrations at Nestlé sites will take place in the UK from 11:00 to 12:00 on Saturday 21 May 2011.
Sign up for the virtual event on Facebook and we will send you a link to the film clip we will be producing to expose how Nestlé's pushes baby milk in violation of international marketing standards. Nestlé is the worst of the baby food companies, undermining breastfeeding and endangering babies fed on formula as it tries to increase sales.
The theme of this year's demonstration is: Nestlé, Good Grief! - The Musical. Well, at least the recording of the jingle!
Nestlé's slogan is 'Good Food, Good Life'. We say, 'Nestlé, Good Grief!'.
We want people to record 'Nestlé, Good Grief!' jingles, or other boycott jingles, sung in a catchy a way as possible. Record your jingle on your webcam, upload it to youtube or another file sharing site and send us the link.
You can also come along to sing a 'Nestlé, Good Grief!' jingle at a demonstration - or watch others having a go, with and without musical accompaniment. We will also be handing out leaflets for passers by.
Baby Milk Action will be at Nestlé (UK) HQ in Croydon. Join us there, or organise something outside your local Nestlé factory or a store that sells Nestlé products. You could have a go at recording your jingle in front of a Nestlé advertisement or sign.
We'll make a montage of the clips and may adopt the best jingle for use in the campaign.
Click here for further details and to request support for a local demonstration.
Nestlé needs to stop violating baby milk code says new board member
The newest member of Nestlé executive board, Ann Veneman, was elected at Nestlé's shareholder meeting on 14 April, and pledged to work from within the company to stop executives violating baby milk marketing requirements.
Ann Veneman was previously the Executive Director of UNICEF and ignored calls from Baby Milk Action and other health campaigners to reconsider joining Nestlé, or at the very least make her joining the board conditional on Nestlé bringing its baby food marketing requirements into line with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant WHA Resolutions, championed by UNICEF and WHO.
UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said the day before : "Ms. Veneman left UNICEF nearly a year ago and is now a private individual. UNICEF would not presume to comment on any personal choices. I can confirm that UNICEF does not take funding from Nestle. I can also confirm that Nestle violates the code."
The Associated Press reported that after her election Ms Veneman "pledged to take up a fight from within to change Nestlé's marketing of breast milk substitutes" and "acknowledged Nestlé isn't fully complying with a voluntary breast milk code adopted by World Health Organization but would work from within to change the world's biggest food and beverage company."
Nestlé claimed that it does "fully comply".
How responsive are companies to reports of violations?
Nestlé 3% - Danone 50%
Baby Milk Action will be joining partners in the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) in Geneva on 12 May to present the latest global report on baby food company marketing practices.
The Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2010monitoring report has examples of violations from 46 countries. There are profiles of 11 leading baby food companies, with market leaders Nestlé and Danone responsible for many of the violation examples included.
The difference in response to this and past reports by the leading two companies is striking. Nestlé dismisses the allegations of violations, suggesting last week that remedial action is required for just 4 out of 130 violations it has counted in Breaking the Rules 2010. That's just 3% - in other words it plans to continue with 97% of the examples given.
Danone, on the other hand, promised a 'root-and-branch' review in response to Breaking the Rules 2007 report as it had just taken over NUMICO brands (Nutricia, Milupa and Cow & Gate). As we reported in our Update 43 newsletter at the end of last year, things appeared to have got worse, not better, in the 2010 report. However, Danone has assured us that the action it has taken will stop 50% of the violations in the report and it gave an undertaking last month to take action on other issues. For example, it has pledged to remove the Immunofortis claims we highlighted in Update 43 - click here - from all formula labels in all countries. We need further details and to see action on the other 50% of violations, but welcome the fact that Danone acknowledges it needs to make changes. If it goes further, perhaps it will escape a consumer campaign.
Nestlé seems to only stop violations we target in the boycott campaign - so more pressure is needed.
European Parliament votes to block DHA health claim - but not by a large enough majority
Many thanks to everyone who sent messages to Members of the European Parliament in support of a ban on misleading health claims on formula.
The Resolution to ban a claim about DHA was passed by the Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in March and went to a full session in April, which also voted in favour of the ban. However, the majority was not large enough to force the European Commission to act and so an unproven claim about DHA is going to be allowed. We are campaigning for the rules on health claims to be tightened.
Further details at:
return to top