Tap Water Awards – Edinburgh
Demonstration against Nestlé
27 and 28 August
Baby Milk Action will be supporting the
annual Tap Water Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
on Sunday 28 August 2005 with
demonstrations at the Nestlé-owned
Perrier Comedy Awards ceremony on Saturday 27
August and at the winners'
performances at the Assembly Hall on
Sunday 28 (see below for times and addresses).
year's events involved celebraties, Members of the Scottish
Parliament and a 12-feet high puppet (right).
here for a high resolution version for printing. Photo
The Tap Water
Awards were created 5 years ago when Edinburgh’s Bongo Club
(Venue 143) decided not to participate in the Perrier Comedy
Awards in protest against Nestlé’s involvement
and the increasing commercialisation of the Fringe. Nestlé acquired
Perrier in 1992, when the awards, which had started in 1981,
were well established. The Nestlé Boycott and the Tap
Water awards, which aim to champion innovation across all genres,
not just comedy, are supported by many celebrities, including
Victoria Wood and Mark Thomas and previous Perrier Award winner
Emma Thompson. The awards are run by the Bongo Club and everyone
performing at the Fringe is eligible on condition they sign
a petition against Nestlé and boycott the Perrier Awards.
In a global internet poll, coinciding with the World Economic
Forum in January 2005, Nestlé - the world’s biggest
food company with a $67 billion turnover and thousands of brands
- was voted the world’s most irresponsible company, receiving
29% of the vote, more than double the second-placed company.
National groups have launched boycotts against Nestlé in
20 countries because of its baby food marketing.
Although the primary concern about Nestlé is its continued
aggressive promotion of breastmilk substitutes which contributes
to 1.5 million infant deaths each year , campaigners also object
to many other aspects of this company’s business: its exploitation
of farmers, its union busting, its promotion of risky technologies
(GM, nano-technology, food irradiation), its illegal extraction
of water and impact on the environment, its fraudulent labelling
and its promotion of unhealthy foods for children. The destructive
environmental impact of Nestlé's Pure Life bottled water
business was the subject of BBC
Radio 4’s Face the Facts
expose on 22nd July.
In 1981 the World Health Assembly adopted the International
Code of Marketing of Breastmilk
Substitutes in an effort to control
marketing and protect infant health. With its partners in the
global network IBFAN, Baby Milk Action has been campaigning
since then for the adoption of this Code as a minimum
legal basis in all countries. Over 70 governments have now
introduced legislation implementing it and where these
controls are independently
monitored and enforced breastfeeding rates are rising. Meanwhile,
systematic independent monitoring has shown that Nestlé is
responsible for more Code violations than any other company
and that it lobbies for unenforceable, voluntary codes, knowing
this will allow business to carry on as normal.
To help persuade Nestlé to stop its irresponsible marketing
individuals and organisations are asked to consider
to sign a petition and to boycott Nestlé products, including
Perrier, Vittel and San Pelegrino mineral waters.
Tap Water Awards will be announced on Sunday 28 August at 10pm
at The Bongo Club, Venue 143, Holyrood Road (http://www.thebongoclub.co.uk/).
Comedy Awards will be announced on Saturday 27 August (location and time tba). The winning act will play at the
Assembly Hall, Venue 35, Mound Place, EH1 2LU on Sunday
28 August at 7:30pm.
Contact in the first
instance, Dr Pete Arnold: 07803 553582 or 01480 460912 or: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Patti Rundall on 07786 523493, or the Baby Milk Action office
on 01223 464420.
Notes for editors
on the Rights of the Child recognises the fundamental role
that breastfeeding plays in fulfilling the
right of every
child to the highest attainable standard of health. Breastfeeding
could prevent 13% of all under-5 deaths and is far more effective
than other preventive interventions such as water sanitation
and immunisation. When Nestlé undermines breastfeeding
it inevitably violates child rights. According to UNICEF: "Marketing
practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous
wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates
that some 1.5 million children die each year because they
are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not in dispute."
In 1996, in São Lourenço, Brazil, Nestlé sank (without authorisation)
wells 158 metres deep into the aquifer to extract the mineral water. Although
this was against federal law, Nestlé demineralised and then re-mineralised
according to Nestlé's formula so that it can produce a 'standard' product.
The São Lourenço campaigners have fought a protracted legal battle
with this over-powerful transnational. The BBC found that the campaigners' allegations
that the springs in the water park have been effectively destroyed are supported
by its own analysis of the waters (and those of the Brazilian government). For
the local people this is a serious issue as the town's tourist industry depends
on these springs. But the legal process to challenge Nestlé has been bogged-down
in court for four years, while Nestlé continues to exploit and damage
this resource and the lives of the local people. Nestlé continues
to claim nothing is wrong, that it behaves responsibly and consults closely
communities. It must be joking!