Email update : 23 April 2012
- Nestlé Chairman rejects proposals from boycott coordinators at company AGM
- Nestlé backtracks on commitment not to advertise infant formula brands
- Nestle purchase of Pfizer's SMA and other baby milk brands bad news for babies
- Demonstration at Nestlé (UK) HQ - 19 May, Saturday 11:00 - 12:00, Croydon
- Protests in Newark, US, over Nestlé being given access to health care system after donation
Nestlé Chairman rejects proposals from boycott coordinators at company AGM
At the company shareholder meeting in Lausanne on 19 April, Nestlé Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathé, rejected proposals from Baby Milk Action that could ultimately bring to an end the long-running boycott of the company over the way it markets breastmilk substitutes.
Baby Milk Action’s Campaigns and Networking Coordinator, Mike Brady, asked the Chairman, Directors and shareholders to reconsider the four-point plan put to the company repeatedly since 2001, which calls on the company to bring baby food marketing policies and practices into line with World Health Assembly requirements. Mr. Brabeck answered that it was not for Baby Milk Action to tell him what to do.
For Baby Milk Action's press release, see:
Nestlé backtracks on commitment not to advertise formula brands
In presenting the year report to shareholders, Mr. Brabeck highlighted Nestlé’s inclusion in the FTSE4Good ethical investment listing in an attempt to pre-empt criticism about its marketing of breastmilk substitutes. FTSE changed its criteria in September 2010 and assesses companies against their own policies rather than the International Code and Resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly. Nestlé was added to the FTSE4Good Index under the weaker criteria in March 2011.
Perhaps emboldened by its addition to the FTSE4Good Index, Nestlé has rejected Baby Milk Action's report about it advertising infant formula brands in what it classifies as high-risk countries, such as the example of television advertising in Armenia, right.
Backtracking: In the past Nestlé said it would not advertise the Nan brand.
Nestlé responded to Baby Milk Action's "email Nestlé campaign" on this violation with a posting to its site dated 29 November 2011 stating:
"In these ‘higher-risk’ countries, we do not advertise or promote baby milks for babies below one year of age. Our growing-up milks, such as NAN 3, are milks adapted to the nutritional requirements of young children above the age of one year."
Previously Nestlé stated it would not advertise milks for older babies except "in the rare instances where they have brand/label design which is distinctly different from infant formula."
As the email Nestlé campaign page shows, Nan 3 is labelled identically to Nan 1 and 2. Click here for full analysis.
Email Nestlé about this and other concerns by going to:
Nestle purchase of Pfizer's SMA and other baby milk brands bad news for babies
Nestlé has won a fierce battle with Danone to acquire the Pfizer Nutrition business, including brands such as S-26, SMA and Promil brands of breastmilk substitutes.
In its press release announcing the Pfizer purchase, Nestlé CEO, Paul Bulcke, states: "The combined entities will enable us to deepen our engagement with consumers, offering them a wider choice of nutritious food to ensure their children make a healthy start to a healthy life."
Nestlé says of Pfizer Nutrition, "85% of its sales are in emerging markets". The purchase also brings Nestlé into the UK mass market. Previously it sold only specialised formulas in the UK.
Baby Milk Action's Mike Brady commented: "Nestlé's announcement today reveals one of the ways the company undermines breastfeeding, by suggesting mothers need Nestlé products to 'ensure their children make a healthy start to a healthy life'. Children fed on formula are more likely to become sick than breastfed children and, in conditions of poverty more likely to die, which is why breastfeeding is the true healthy start. Nestlé aims to be the largest player in any market it enters, driving down standards, which means things are about to get a whole lot worse in some countries where Pfizer's brands trail the competition."
Full press release available at:
Demonstration at Nestlé (UK) HQ - 19 May, Saturday 11:00 - 12:00, Croydon
Put this date in your diaries and we look forward to seeing you there.
Click here for details and to let us know you are coming:
Protests in Newark, US, over Nestlé being given access to health care system after donation
Nestlé’s partnering with the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, USA, to the tune of US$100,000 has sparked protests and petitions from campaigners. Under the partnership with the city, Nestlé nutritionists will be given access to all 15 of the Family Success Centers to provide training on “breastfeeding and nutrition”.
You can sign up to a petition from North American campaigners to help stop this and encourage others to do so too.
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