Pop stars pull out
of V2001 music festival promotion because of link to Nestlé
18th January 2001
Pulp, Dodgy and Ian
Brown have pulled out of a promotion for the V2001 music festival
because it is linked to Nestlé and other bands are considering
joining them. Nestlé is the target of a boycott in 19 countries
because of its aggressive promotion of breastmilk substitutes.
The musicians were invited to be part of a major promotion on
33 million chocolate bars in the run-up to the festival, according
to an exclusive published in the New
Musical Express (NME - 20th January issue, out now).
Matthew Priest of Dodgy
wrote to all bands approached by Nestlé to contribute songs to
a giveaway CD. He told NME: "We were approached about using
'Staying Out for the Summer' for a V festival promotion. But then
I found out who was behind it."
Mike Brady, Campaigns
and Networking Coordinator at Baby Milk Action, said: "Nestlé's
aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes contributes to
the unnecessary death and suffering of infants around the world.
The support of these bands will do a lot to publicise the boycott
and reach new people. Taking boycott action in the UK has a global
impact. Nestlé claims it is an open company and will discuss the
concerns, but when the European Parliament held a Public
Hearing into the baby food industry last November, Nestlé
refused to show, demonstrating its contempt for the democratic
process. The company apparently objected to the presence of UNICEF
at the hearing."
According to UNICEF,
reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save the lives of
1.5 million infants around the world every year. Where water is
unsafe a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die
as a result of diarrhoea than a breastfed child. Nestlé is the
target of a boycott because independent monitoring around the
world finds it to be responsible for more violations of the marketing
requirements adopted by the World Health Assembly than any
other company. Nestlé's Managing Director in India faces a prison
sentence if convicted in a long-running court case concerning
labelling and Nestlé has been fined in other countries. Pressure
from the boycott has stopped some violations.
Dr. Charles Sagoe-Moses,
of the Ghanaian Infant Nutrition Action Network (a partner of
Baby Milk Action) said of the boycott in the UK: "The
people there are campaigning because they think they have a voice
and they can use their voice to help some people in the developing
world who do not have a voice."
For further information
contact: Mike Brady,
Campaigns and Networking Coordinator, Baby Milk Action, 23 St.
Andrew's Street, Cambridge, CB2 3AX. Tel: 01223 464420.
Also see the MediaGuardian
star blasts Nestlé over baby milk marketing and Pop
stars shun Nestlé's festival promotion
Notes for editors
For further details
and for pictures for publication the "codewatch"
sections. Update 28,
available on the website, includes an interview with Dr. Charles
Sagoe-Moses of the Ghanaian IBFAN
(International Baby Food Action Network) group.
Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes was adopted
by the World Health Assembly in 1981 as a "minimum requirement"
to be implemented by Member States "in its entirety." Subsequent
Resolutions have addressed questions of interpretation and
changes in marketing practices and scientific knowledge.
1999 the Advertising Standards Authority upheld 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." In 1995 Baby Milk Action
was called on to defend claims made in a boycott advertisement.
The ASA found in favour of Baby Milk Action. The claims were:
"Over 4,000 babies die every day in poor countries because
they're not breastfed. That's not conjecture, it's UNICEF
fact" and "They [Nestlé] aggressively promote their
baby milks, breaking a World Health Organisation code of marketing."
The World Health
Organisation Executive Board is meeting this week (15 - 23
January - see our Daily
Updates). The baby food industry is attempting to block
a proposed Resolution which addresses current concerns about
infant feeding issues (see British Medical Journal 9th
November 2000 the European Parliament Development and
Cooperation Committee held a Public Hearing into the baby
food industry. IBFAN and UNICEF made presentations. MEPs were
shocked and outraged when Nestlé refused its invitation to
make a presentation on the monitoring process it claims to
have put in place to ensure compliance with the marketing
requirements. For further information contact Richard Howitt
MEP, who arranged the Hearing. Tel: + 32 2 284 5477