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History of the campaign

Nestlé claims that its founder, Henri Nestlé, invented the world's first artificial infant food in 1867. By 1873, 500,000 boxes of Nestlé's Milk Food were sold in Europe, the United States, Argentina, Mexico and the Dutch East Indies. Markets expanded and other companies saw an opportunity. In 1998 it was estimated that annual sales of baby milk were worth US$ 8 billion.


  • Cicely Williams presents a talk on bottle-baby deaths and condensed milk to the Singapore Rotary Club. Using the title Milk and Murder she said that "misguided propaganda on infant feeding should be punished as the most criminal form of sedition, and that those deaths should be regarded as murder."


  • Dr. Derrick Jelliffe coins the term "commerciogenic malnutrition" to describe the impact of industry marketing practices on infant health.


  • The UN Protein-Calorie Advisory Group (PAG) raises concern about industry practices.


  • International Organisation of Consumers Unions (IOCU) submits a draft code of practice on the advertising of infant foods to FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission.


  • New Internationalist magazine has cover story on The Baby Food Tragedy which calls for an action campaign to halt unethical promotion of baby milks.
  • The UN PAG states that promotion to mothers in hospital immediately after birth is inappropriate.


  • War on Want publishes The Baby Killer, a report on infant malnutrition and the promotion of artificial feeding in the Third World.
  • Bern Third World Action Group (AgDW) translates The Baby Killer and publishes it in Switzerland with the title Nestlé tötet Babies (Nestlé Kills Babies). Nestlé sues AgDW for libel.


  • First hearing in the Nestlé libel lawsuit.
  • International Council of Infant Food Industries (ICIFI) formed. Cow & Gate, Dumex, Meiji, Morinaga, Nestlé, Snow Brand, Wakado and Wyeth join.


  • The US Sisters of the Precious Blood file shareholder action against Bristol-Myers regarding the threat to infant health caused by the company's promotion of baby milks.
  • The judgement in the Nestlé lawsuit finds AgDW guilty of libel for the title only. AgDW is given a token fine and Nestlé is warned to change its marketing practices.


  • Papua New Guinea bans advertisements for feeding bottles and puts bottles and teats on prescription.
  • The Nestlé boycott is launched in the US by INFACT (Infant Formula Action Coalition) to protest against Nestlé's unethical marketing.

    Nestlé boycott launched


  • Nestlé boycott spreads to Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
  • Bristol-Myers settles lawsuit with the Sisters of the Precious Blood out of court and agrees to halt all direct consumer advertising of baby milks and to end promotion to mothers by the use of company representatives acting as mothercraft nurses.
  • US Senate Hearings held by Senator Edward Kennedy on the inappropriate marketing of baby milks in developing countries.
  • Nestlé issues what is to be the first of many policy statements which do little to address the genuine concerns of its critics. Nestlé uses the statements to try and improve its public image.


  • WHO/UNICEF host an international meeting on infant and young child feeding. The meeting, which includes representatives of governments, health organisations, companies and campaigning groups, calls for the development of an international code of marketing, as well as action on other fronts to improve infant and young child feeding practices.
  • The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) is formed by six of the campaigning groups at the meeting. IBFAN starts to grow as other groups are recruited or formed.

    IBFAN formed


  • In testimony at a US Senate Hearing, Nestlé and three US companies admit that they do not intend to abide by WHO's interpretation of the recommendations of the 1979 WHO/UNICEF meeting.
  • The 33rd World Health Assembly adopts recommendations of the 1979 WHO/UNICEF meeting and charges these bodies with drafting a code and conducting widespread consultation.
  • Nestlé boycott launched in the UK.


  • Nestlé boycott launched in Sweden and West Germany.
  • Writing as President of ICIFI, Nestlé Vice President, Ernest Saunders describes the draft marketing code as unacceptable, restrictive, irrelevant and unworkable.
  • IBFAN meets in Geneva and resolves to campaign for the implementation of the marketing code and to monitor the industry. Breaking the Rules reports are published at intervals over the coming years.
  • The 34th World Health Assembly (WHA) adopts Resolution WHA34.22 which includes the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes as a "minimum requirement" to be adopted "in its entirety." WHA calls on the WHO Director General to make a report in even years. 118 nations vote in favour with only the US voting against.

    The International Code

  • European Parliament votes for the preparation of a Directive based on the International Code.


  • Peru becomes the first country to adopt the International Code as national legislation.
  • The 35th World Health Assembly recalls that the International Code is a "minimum requirement" to be implemented "in its entirety" and urges Member States to give it renewed attention.

    Resolution WHA35.26

  • The European Commission (EC) begins work on a draft directive looking to a draft code of practice prepared by IDACE (Association of Dietetic Food Industries of the EEC) rather than the International Code.
  • Nestlé Infant Formula Audit Commission (NIFAC) set up to monitor Nestlé's marketing practices using Nestlé's guidelines rather than the Code. Former US Secretary of State, Edmund Muskie, is chair.
  • The Nestlé boycott is launched in France.


  • European Parliament again passes a strongly worded resolution in favour of the International Code.
  • Nestlé boycott spreads to Finland and Norway bringing the total to 10 countries. Boycott in North America intensifies.


  • January Nestlé agrees to implement the International Code in developing countries.
    February Boycott groups agree to suspend the boycott for six months to allow Nestlé time to put its promises into practice.
    October Nestlé boycott is suspended. Monitoring has shown that Nestlé has stopped some of its more blatant malpractice and top management undertakes to resolve other concerns including applying the International Code in Europe and abiding by WHO policy on free and low-cost supplies.

    Nestlé boycott suspended

  • The Association of Infant Food Manufacturers (IFM) is formed, replacing ICIFI.
  • The 37th World Health Assembly renews its call for implementation of the International Code, a call which is repeated with every Resolution relating to the Code. The WHA calls for an emphasis on using "foods of local origin."

    Resolution WHA37.30


  • IBFAN publishes first edition of Protecting Infant Health (a health worker's guide to the International Code); begins publishing Breastfeeding Briefs (a summary of scientific literature on breastfeeding), sets up the Code Documentation Centre in Penang, Malaysia (ICDC) and launches workshops on the International Code in Africa.

    IBFAN-ICDC begins code training

  • The ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) group of countries calls on EEC Member States to implement the International Code in Europe.
  • WHO/UNICEF Committee of Experts calls for an end to free and low-cost supplies of baby milks.


  • European Parliament votes again to include most of the provisions of the International Code in a draft directive.
  • The 39th World Health Assembly adopts a resolution banning free and subsidized supplies of breastmilk substitutes and states that the use of "so-called 'follow-up' milks is not necessary."

    Resolution WHA39.28

  • European Commission submits directive to the Council of Ministers. When it comes before Parliament there is a sweeping majority vote to bring it further in line with the International Code.


  • IBFAN monitoring reveals companies flooding health facilities with free and low-cost supplies and violating other provisions of the International Code.


  • ICDC publishes the first State of the Code by Country report. Seven countries have implemented the Code as law.
  • June The US IBFAN group gives Nestlé and Wyeth/AHP (American Home Products) until October to end free and low-cost supplies of baby milks or it will call for consumer action.
  • UK Government announces a ban on free and low-cost supplies.
  • October The US IBFAN group launches boycott of Nestlé and AHP in the US; the German group launches boycott of Nestlé and publicity campaign against Milupa in Germany. Canada joins the boycott of Nestlé.

    Nestlé boycott resumes

  • The 41st World Health Assembly notes with concern "continuing decreasing breastfeeding trends in many countries."

    Resolution WHA41.11


  • Nestlé boycott launched in Ireland, Finland, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, and UK.
  • IBFAN holds International Forum in Manila to celebrate 10 years of IBFAN. Boycott launched against Nestlé, Wyeth, Bristol Myers and Abbott-Ross in the Philippines.
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child is adopted by the United Nations.

    Convention on the Rights of the Child


  • The 43rd World Health Assembly notes that, in spite of its 1986 resolution, "free or low-cost supplies continue to be available to hospitals and maternities."

    Resolution WHA43.3

  • Following the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child, the Innocenti Declaration, signed by 32 countries, calls on all Governments to adopt the International Code as a minimum requirement in its entirety and to adopt imaginative maternity legislation by 1995. Heads of state at the World Summit for Children endorse the Innocenti Declaration.

    Innocenti Declaration

  • Nestlé boycott launched in France.


  • Nestlé boycott launched in Australia and Switzerland.
  • Although IBFAN has been able to encourage some improvements, the finalised EC Directive covering the marketing of infant formula and follow-up milks in the Internal Market is weak.
  • UNICEF and WHO launch the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative aimed at transforming maternal and child health practices. They call on companies to end free supplies of baby milk to hospitals and maternity wards worldwide by the end of 1992.
  • NIFAC commissions research in Mexico which finds widespread distribution of free supplies with a consequent detrimental effect on breastfeeding rates. Nestlé closes NIFAC down with the majority of complaints registered by IBFAN unanswered.
  • UNICEF says in State of the World's Children that reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save 1.5 million lives every year.
  • World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) formed to follow up targets of the Innocenti Declaration.
  • IBFAN lists 9 countries with the International Code implemented as law and 28 with some provisions as law.


  • The 45th World Health Assembly calls on Member States to enact legislation to protect the breastfeeding rights of working women.

    Resolution WHA45.34

  • European Union Export Directive adopted calling on EU-based companies to remove baby pictures and use appropriate language on tins.

    EU Export Directive

  • India introduces the Infant Milk Substitutes (IMS) Act.
  • Nepal introduces the whole of the International Code as law.


  • Lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson in India under the IMS Act after a complaint by an Indian IBFAN group.
  • Nestlé sues other baby food companies in the US for agreeing to a ban on advertising infant formula.
  • Nestlé boycott spreads to Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey bringing the total number of countries to 18.


  • Lawsuit filed against Nestlé in India by an Indian IBFAN group.
  • The 47th World Health Assembly adopts a resolution calling for an end to free and subsidized supplies in all parts of the health care system; for care in accepting donations for emergency relief and for complementary feeding to be introduced from about the 6th month. For the first time the US supports a resolution which reaffirms support for the International Code and subsequent, relevant resolutions.

    Resolution WHA47.5

  • IBFAN publishes Breaking the Rules 1994, a result of monitoring in 62 countries.


  • Implementation of the 1991 EC directive bans advertising in five European countries.
  • Nestlé loses court case against companies in the US which had adopted an advertising ban, but the voluntary agreement has collapsed.
  • IBFAN hosts national and international meetings to discuss infant feeding and emergency relief.


  • IBFAN reports that 16 countries have introduced the International Code as law.
  • In India, Johnson & Johnson settle the action against them out of court. A second separate action is brought against it and two other companies by an Indian IBFAN group. J & J announces it will withdraw from the Indian feeding bottle market.
  • Nestlé issues a Writ Petition against the Indian Government challenging the provisions of the IMS Act under which it is being prosecuted.
  • The 49th World Health Assembly adopts a resolution calling for independent monitoring, free from commercial influence; for measures to control marketing of complementary foods and for health professionals to be wary of accepting commercial sponsorship.

    Resolution WHA49.15

  • The UK IBFAN group successfully defends claims made in an advertisement promoting the Nestlé boycott before the advertising regulatory authority.
  • The European Commission publishes a green paper on Commercial Communications in the Internal Market which has important implications for national bans on advertising infant formula.


  • Threatened with court action, Indian formula manufacturer Wockhardt apologises and makes changes.
  • The Interagency Group on Breastfeeding Monitoring, a coalition of 27 UK church, academic and development organisations, commissions research in Bangladesh, Poland, South Africa and Thailand to investigate whether IBFAN's monitoring is accurate. The resulting report, entitled Cracking the Code, concludes that the International Code and Resolutions are being violated by companies in a "systematic rather than one-off manner." UNICEF states: "the findings of IBFAN are clearly vindicated by this report."
  • UNICEF's Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, writes to Nestlé Chief Executive Officer, Peter Brabeck-Letmathé, setting out some of the areas where Nestlé's baby food marketing policy conflicts with the International Code and Resolutions.


  • IBFAN publishes its latest monitoring report, Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 1998, exposing current marketing malpractice.
  • For the first time a Resolution is not tabled at the World Health Assembly in a reporting year. Instead, WHO proposes a series of meetings looking at "removing obstacles to full implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and its subsequent resolutions by all countries."
  • IBFAN meets with WHO to present its evidence of marketing malpractice and its proposals for removing obstacles to implementation of the International Code and Resolutions.
  • IBFAN receives the prestigious Right Livelihood Award "for its committed and effective campaigning over nearly twenty years."


  • IBFAN is twenty years old. It has grown from 6 groups to over 150 in more than 90 countries.
  • Twenty countries have implemented all or nearly all of the provisions of the International Code and Resolutions. A further 27 have many provisions in law.
  • The UK Adverstising Standards Authority upholds all of Baby Milk Action's complaints against a Nestlé anti-boycott advertisement in which the company claimed to market infant formula 'ethically and responsibly'.
  • Nestlé distributes a 183-page book of letters presented as 'official responses of 54 governments' that Nestlé abides by the International Code. The report is exposed as dishonest and Nestlé has to apologise for misrepresenting letters.
  • Former Nestlé Pakistan employee, Syed Aamar Raza, launches the report Milking Profits in Germany, exposing with documentary evidence how he was required to push breastmilk substitutes using tactics including bribing of documents.
  • Hipp receives a shaming award from the UK Food Group for dangerous labelling - its infant teas are promoted for use from as early as one week of age.
  • Nestlé Chief Executive, Peter Brabeck-Letmathé, promises UK television programme that labels will be in the appropriate language for the country where they are sold by March 2000 - 19 years after this was made a requirement in the Code - but fails to deliver.


  • The Eurodiet conference in Crete supports the policy of promoting exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months in line with the 1994 World Health Assembly Resolution.
  • Patti Rundall, Policy Director of Baby Milk Action, receives the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II for 'services to infant nutrition.'
  • The Baby Feeding Law Group is formalised in the UK, bringing together health worker organisations to campaign for the UK law to be brought into line with the Code and Resolutions.
  • Syed Aamar Raza launches the Milking Profits report at the UK Parliament. The weekend before, shots are fired at his house in Pakistan. Nestlé refuses to condemn the attack and later claims it never took place (click here for photos). Syed Aamar Raza meets the Director General of WHO and the Minister of Health of Pakistan at the World Health Assembly.
  • Nestlé commissions an external audit into the activities of Nestlé Pakistan. The auditors are told they cannot contact Syed Aamar Raza or Non-Governmental Organisation which have been monitoring Nestlé activities. Baby Milk Action writes to Nestlé and offers to provide documentary evidence of malpractice to the auditors. The offer is not passed on to the auditors.
  • Nestlé is fined in Costa Rica for failing to change labels despite repeated warnings.
  • Bulgaria becomes the 19th country to launch the Nestlé boycott.
  • The European Parliament Development and Cooperation Committee holds its first ever public hearing on corporations on Nestlé. IBFAN presents evidence from Pakistan. UNICEF's Legal Officer attends to provide advice on interpretation of the marketing requirements. Nestlé objects to the presence of IBFAN and UNICEF and refuses to send a representative, instead sending the external auditor who cannot respond to questions on Nestlé policy. The external audit is exposed as a whitewash. A call is made for the European Commission to review operation of its measures regulating the activities of European-based companies in third countries to stop such malpractice.


  • Cameroon becomes the 20th country to join the Nestlé boycott, the first in Africa.
  • After consistently refusing to even speak in public if Baby Milk Action is present, Nestlé (UK) agrees to a debate at Cambridge University. Students across the country have been targeting Nestlé graduate recruitment events, refusing to give the company a platform. Nestlé rejects a four-point plan aimed at saving infant lives and ultimately ending the boycott as it refuses to accept the Code and Resolutions are minimum requirements and apply to all countries - though these points have been made by UNICEF in writing to Nestlé in the past.
  • An expert consultation systematically reviews 3,000 studies on duration of exclusive breastfeeding and introduction of complementary foods and re-enforces the '6 months' position taken by the World Health Assembly in 1994.
  • The 54th World Health Assembly adopts Resolution 54.2 re-stating the position of Resolution 47.5: "to strengthen activities and develop new approaches to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for six months as a global public health recommendation... with continued breastfeeding for up to two years of age or beyond." IBFAN asks companies once again to change the age of use on their complementary foods. Addressing the risk of transmission of HIV through breastfeeding, the Resolution stresses the need for risk assessment and the right ot mothers to make a decision free from commercial influences.
Resolution WHA54.2


  • Pakistan introduces legislation regulating the marketing of breastmilk substitutes, though it has many weaknesses. Nestlé whistleblower Syed Aamar Raza remains in hiding following threats in Pakistan.
  • The 55th World Health Assembly adopts Resolutions 55.25, incorporating the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, calling for renewed action to implement the Code and Resolutions.
Resolution WHA55.25


  • Wyeth receives a criminal conviction and fine for illegal advertising of its SMA brand in the UK. The Judge describes Wyeth's actions as a 'cynical and deliberate breach of the Regulations' and criticises the UK director of being 'extra-ordinarily evasive throughout his cross-examination.'
  • The UK Government adopts a policy of promoting exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months in line with Resolution 47.5 of 1994. Over 70 countries have now introduced such policies.
  • During national demonstrations in the UK, which gain coverage on the national radio news, Nestlé announces it has changed the age of use on its complementary foods. Despite failing to do this for 9 years, Nestlé claims it is 'taking the initiative'. Although monitors find the policy is not being implemented everywhere, IBFAN welcomes the move and calls on other companies to follow.


  • IBFAN launches a report Using International Tools to Stop Corporate Malpractice - Does it Work? examining through 7 case studies how efforts to reverse the decline in breastfeeding have fared. Where independently monitored and enforced legislation has been introduced, violations are being stopped and breastfeeding rates increasing. Where industry efforts to go the route of voluntary codes have succeeded violations remain widespread.
  • Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2004, monitoring results from 69 countries, published. Nestlé is named as the worst of the baby food companies once again with NUMICO (Nutricia, Milupa, Cow&Gate) as the second biggest source of violations. State of the Code charts show that 60 countries now have all or many of the provisions of the Code and Resolutions in legislation.
  • Nestlé whistleblower, Syed Aamar Raza, has still not been reunited with his wife and two young children and both his parents have passed away while he has been unable to return to Pakistan due to fears for his safety. You can help


  • The 58th World Health Assembly adopts Resolution 58.32 addressing intrinsic contamination of powdered infant formula by Enterobacter sakazakii and other pathogens, nutrition and health claims and create conflicts of interests and calls on The Codex Alimentarius Commission to reflect WHO policy in its global standard setting, specifically the International Code and resolutions.
Resolution WHA58.32
  • Nestlé receives the Fairtrade mark for its Partners' Blend of coffee and uses it in an advertising campaign to counter criticism of its treatment of coffee farmers. The new brand involves just 0.1% of coffee farmers depedent on Nestlé. A survey of Baby Milk Action supporters finds the Fairtrade mark will be undermined by its award to Nestlé for so small a commitment.
  • An event is held 15 years after the adoption of the Innocenti Declaration and the call for action on breastfeeding support and regulation of breastmilk substitutes is updated in a new declaration.


  • WHO launches Child Growth Standards based on breastfed children. Previous charts had been based on formula-fed children and provided a distorted view of childhood development.
  • The European Commission prepares a draft Directive on Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula, but does little to bring the previous directive into line with the Code and Resolutions. It is introduced despite opposition from some health bodies.
  • Nestlé ends its sponsorship of the comedy awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after several years of protests.
  • The Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines (PHAP) unsuccessfully tries to block the new Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR) applying to the Philippines National Milk Code. The US Chamber of Commerce threatens the Philippines government with disinvestment and the Supreme Court blocks the RIRR shortly afterwards.
  • The Methodist Conference in the UK adopts texts acknowledging: "continuing concern with regard to some aspects of Nestlé's interpretation of the International Code, the implementation of company guidelines and the transparency of the procedures for monitoring compliance. These concerns may cause some through conscience to maintain a consumer boycott of Nestlé products." It suggests that buying shares in Nestlé could "influence change through engagement", stating "Many would consider that these two strategies [the boycott and engagement] have complementary objectives." Baby Milk Action warns that investing in Nestlé will be misrepresented as ending support for the boycott - and so it proves.
  • The 59th World Health Assembly adopts Resolution 59.21 welcoming the "Call for Action made in the Innocenti Declaration 2005 on Infant and Young Child Feeding as a significant step towards achievement of the fourth Millennium Development Goal to reduce child mortality". It calls for renewed government commitment to implementing the International Code and Resolutions and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, with government action and funding.
Resolution WHA59.21


  • 2 - 8 July: The first International Nestlé-Free Week is launched as a week for boycotters to do more to spread the word, and for non-boycotters to give it a go, at least for a week.
  • Nestlé's Global Public Affairs Manager admits that Nestlé is "widely boycotted". A survey has found it to be one of the four most boycotted companies on the planet and the most boycotted in the UK.
  • After an international campaign of solidarity, the Philippines Supreme Court rejects the industry argument that regulations implementing the Code and Resolutions are a "restraint on trade", stating: "The framers of the constitution were well aware that trade must be subjected to some form of regulation for the public good. Public interest must be upheld over business interests."
  • IBFAN International Code Documentation Centre launches Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2007, with monitoring results from 67 countries.
  • The UK Government introduces the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations 2007. The Baby Feeding Law Group, consisting of leading health professional bodies and mother support groups had called for the law to be brought into line with the Code and Resolutions. The Government's own Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition calls for follow-on milks to be included in the ban on advertising and for health and nutrition claims to be prohibited. The Government instead follows the line of the industry in doing the minimum possible to regulate marketing.
  • The Baby Feeding Law Group monitoring project prompts action in the UK to enforce previous legislation prohibiting all health and nutrition claims except for those on an approved list. "Closer to breastmilk" claims are removed from labels.
  • Nestlé Children's Book Prize winner refuses to accept the prize money citing concerns about the company's baby food marketing practices. Nestlé ends its sponsorship of this Book Trust prize.


  • In the UK, baby food companies launch a legal challenge against the weak Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations to delay key provisions coming into force until 2010. They are successful in delaying the labelling requirements (even though they were not complying with the regulations under the previous regulations), but were unsuccessful in delaying advertising restrictions.
  • The UK Government introduces Guidance Notes to go alongside the Regulations. These contain some good provisions regarding labelling and point-of-sale presentation. Despite comments made in Parliament, they prove to be unenforceable and are disregarded by the enforcement authorities (Trading Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority).
  • The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child report on the UK again calls for action. The Committee says"it is concerned that implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes continues to be inadequate and that aggressive promotion of breastmilk substitutes remains common." Accordingly, "The Committee recommends that the State party implement fully the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes."
  • The 61st World Health Assembly adopts Resolution 61.20 calling for action on the Code and Resolutions, monitoring (with care regarding conflicts of interest), information and labelling regarding Enterobacter Sakazakii, and human donor milk banks.
Resolution WHA61.20


  • The ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN is launched.
  • The International Code Documentation Centre issues an udpated State of the Code by Country for the World Health Assembly. Over 60 countries have legislation implementing many or most of the provisions of the Code and Resolutions. This no longer includes the countries of the European Union, as they have been downgraded for not keeping legislation updated in response to subsequent, relevant Resolutions.
  • Nestlé is reported to the UN Global Compact office by Baby Milk Action and a coalition of other organisations for egregious violations of the Global Compact Principles and for bringing the initiative into disrepute.


  • The UK introduces regulations allowing paid-for product placement in television programmes, but infant formula and follow-on formula are on the prohibited list of products.
  • An Independent Review Panel (IRP) into the UK legislation acknowledges concerns raised by Trading Standards and other bodies over enforcing the measures and states there need to be "steps taken to address these." The IRP report records the concerns of LACORS, the umbrella body for Trading Standards: "One of the major problems for enforcement officers is the use of advertising and promotional material which blurs the distinction between follow-on formula and infant formula."
  • The 63rd World Health Assembly adopts Resolution 63.23 again calling for action on the Code and Resolutions and for an "end inappropriate promotion of food for infants and young children and to ensure that nutrition and health claims shall not be permitted for foods for infants and young children, except where specifically provided for, in relevant Codex Alimentarius standards or national legislation."
Resolution WHA63.23
  • IBFAN International Code Documentation Centre publishes Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2010.


  • The European Parliament votes to block the claim "DHA intake contributes to the normal visual development of infants up to 12 months of age". The claim was put forward by a formula company and approved by the European Food Safety Authority, based on company studies that contradicted other evidence. The size of the parliamentary majority is insufficient to stop the European Commission from adding the claim to an authorised list.
  • FTSE, the stock exchange listing company, changes the criteria of its FTSE4Good ethical investment listing so that Nestlé can be added. FTSE Chief Executive justifies the change by stating: "In the infant food sector we were not able to engage the companies as they were all being excluded from the index." The inclusion leads to long-running boycott supporter, the UK United Reformed Church, to end its support for the campaign.

It is not yet over...