|Nestlé faces public protest in the UK for breaking the International Code and Resolutions.
Campaigners urge support for Nestlé boycott
Protest date: Saturday 23rd May 1998
Venue: Nestlé Tower, Park Lane, Croydon, UK
Protesters will dump a giant coffee mug full of baby dolls at the foot of the Nestlé tower on Saturday, urging continued support for the international consumer boycott of Nestlé products. Nestlé is the focus of an ongoing campaign because it has the biggest share of the baby milk market and still promotes its baby foods in violation of WHO rules.
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, according to UNICEF. Over-dilution of expensive feed can lead to malnutrition. WHO estimates that 1.5 million babies die every year because they are not breastfed.
The boycott was instrumental in bringing about the WHO code in 1981 which bans the promotion of breastmilk substitutes, feeding bottles and teats, causing Nestlé to end some its most blatant malpractices. But selling by stealth has continued, often using ingenious methods. Seventeen years after the WHO Code was adopted, Nestlé is still putting profits before health.
Mike Brady of Baby Milk Action, which coordinates the 18 country Nestlé boycott says:
"The boycott gives Nestlé a financial incentive to change. Nestlé's record in trying to undermine implementation of the marketing code in law shows that ethical arguments aren't working. Nestlé is in court in India and the Managing Director faces prison if convicted. The company is not only fighting the case, but challenging the law itself. Nestlé has also attempted in recent months to weaken government measures in Gabon, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Uruguay (details to be posted shortly) and Zimbabwe . We call on everyone to 'Wake up to the Facts' and boycott Nescafé and other Nestlé products until it follows the marketing code in principle and practice."
Emma Must of the World Development Movement (WDM), which is also mobilising its members for the demonstration, says:
"Nestlé appears to be unmoved by the fact that bottle feeding instead of breast feeding dramatically increases the risk of death for babies in developing countries. It has gone out of its way to find clever ways around the International Code and shows little interest in ethical self-regulation. For a company like Nestlé which puts profits first, a consumer boycott hits where it hurts. Consumers have a crucial role to play in holding such corporate giants to account. But national governments should also take action to enforce the International Code."
For further information contact Baby Milk Action head office:
Baby Milk Action, 23 St Andrew's St, Cambridge CB2 3AX, UK.
T: +44 (0)1223 464420