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Baby Milk Action

Email update : 11 June 2013

Say NO to Nestlé and Danone targeting health workers

Nestlé has entered the UK following its takeover of Pfizer Nutrition and the SMA brand of formula, finalised in December 2012.

We are already seeing more aggressive marketing practices being used. Nestlé is currently promoting a series of events targeting health workers.

NO to Nestle

Nestlé's events are aimed at circumventing the restrictions many health facilities have in place on staff meeting with company representatives. UNICEF Baby Friendly initiative recommends reps. are only permitted to meet with a designated, expert staff member, who can assess company information and pass on what is necessary to other staff. Assessment is essential as much company information is misleading with the intention of encouraging staff to recommend the products to mothers.

Given these restrictions, Nestlé is trying to entice staff to events at hotels with speakers on a range of subjects and food and drink. In many cases a Nestlé Nutrition rep. will then promote their products prior to the advertised speaker.

Baby Milk Action has launched a Say NO to Nestlé campaign and is organising protests outside the venues, where leaflets will be offered to anyone who turns up to encourge them to think about the conflicts of interest. We want to start a debate about the importance of safeguarding independence from baby food companies and the right of mothers to accurate, independent information on formula.

Find out more and download the leaflets or request a kit for organising a protest at:

Forthcoming events:

11 June: Wandsworth

12 June: Dartford

24 June: Slough

27 June: Cowes

Reply to this email if you would like to join one of the above protests.

Follow the link for events in July.

Danone, owner of Apatamil and Cow & Gate brands, is becoming more aggressive following Nestlé's entry into the market. For example, it is rebranding its own Learning Curve events for health workers - which we have campaigned on in the past - with formula brand names.

Please contact us with information on events by Nestlé, Danone or other baby food companies targeting health workers and we will include those in the protests to get a debate on conflicts of interest going. See:

Closing the follow-on formula loophole - EU votes on extending infant formula labelling requirements to all products today

Baby Milk Action has been working to bring European Union (EU) measures on baby milk marketing into line with international minimum standards for decades.

One of the issues we have addressed with our partners in the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) and the Baby Feeding Law Group (BFLG) is the follow-on formula loophole. That is, in the EU fewer restrictions apply to the marketing of follow-on formula than infant formula. Follow-on formla, for use from 6 months of age, is an unnecessary product, used to overcome the restrictions on promotion of infant formula, for use from birth.

Today a vote took place in the European Parliament on new regulations that extend the infant formula labelling requirements to follow-on formula. This will require companies to remove idealising images and misleading claims from follow-on formula by 2016. Our recent report Look What They're Doing in the UK gives examples of the strategies companies are using (see above right).

We have been responding to requests from MEPs for briefings on the issues as the new measures passed through the committee stage and now the full Parliament.

There is still a long way to go to protect the right of mothers to acurate information, but this is an important step forward. Find out further details at:

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