Nestlé under investigation by Pakistan anti-corruption
body in Raza case
28th March 2000
Pakistan's new anti-corruption body, The National Accountability
Bureau, is investigating Nestlé having received information
of malpractice from a former employee, Syed Aamar Raza, it has
been reported in The News in Pakistan. Senior Nestlé
staff are implicated in attempting to boost baby milk sales by
bribing doctors, making direct contact with mothers and paying
staff by sales performance. A report on the evidence, Milking
Profits, was launched at the British Medical Association by
Baby Milk Action with Mr. Raza on 15th February. On 29th
February Mr. Raza made a presentation at the House of Commons.
Mr. Raza sent a Legal Notice to Nestlé in November 1997, calling
it to end its malpractice. Nestlé has still not responded to the
substance of Mr. Raza's allegations and has told journalists it
is still investigating. Baby Milk Action has been pressing Nestlé
Headquarters in Switzerland to provide information regarding audits
it claims to conduct into its subsidiary companies.
Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator, Baby Milk Action
"In the media Nestlé is attempting to blame Mr. Raza for
the violations, disregarding the fact that Mr. Raza's superiors
authorised payments and signed cheques. Minutes even show the
number of points awarded to staff for sales of different baby
milks in the sales incentive scheme. Mr. Raza's payslips indicate
the amount of money he received. Nestlé's Chief Executive claims
he personally investigates any hint of wrong-doing. I have written
to him asking for full details of his investigation."
Shortly before Mr. Raza's appearance in the House of Commons,
shots were fired at his house in Sialkot, Pakistan. Baby Milk
Action has confirmed the report of the shooting with contacts
in Pakistan and has received written statements from neighbours.
Rather than condemning the attack, Nestlé is attempting
to suggest it did not really happen and is distributing a document
signed by a police officer who has since moved from the area and
cannot now be contacted. Baby Milk Action is asking the appropriate
authority in Pakistan to investigate Nestlé's response
to the shooting.
For information on ordering Milking Profits, visit the Baby Milk
For further information contact : Baby Milk Action, 23 St. AndrewŐs
Street, Cambridge, CB2 3AX.
Tel: 01223 464420 Fax: 01223 464417
Notes for Editors:
- Baby food companies are required to abide by the International
Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent,
relevant Resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly. The
Assembly is the policy setting body of the World Health Organisation.
These measures are not enforceable, unless adopted in national
legislation. Nestlé has been opposing this in Pakistan since
at least 1992. A draft law is presently with the new administration
in Pakistan, but has still not been passed.
- According to UNICEF, 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. In Pakistan, 26% of the population does
not have access to safe water and 53% do not have access to
- The evidence contained in Milking Profits substantiates evidence
found by monitoring in 33 cities in Pakistan and published as
the report Feeding Fiasco
in March 1998. Evidence from around the world continues to demonstrate
that Nestlé is violating the marketing requirements in a systematic
manner. For information on ordering Feeding Fiasco, visit the
- Nestlé is distributing a report dated a week after the shooting
incident in Sialkot which contradicts the information in Baby
Milk Action's possession, even to the extent of saying there
are no bullet marks at the house. The presence of bullet marks
has been independently verified by a journalist in Pakistan.
The police Station House Officer named in Nestlé's report has
been transferred from the station and no contact details are
being released by his replacement.
- The German launch of Milking Profits coincided with an article
in Stern, including pictures taken in Pakistan which may be
purchased for publication from the syndication agency Picture
Press GmbH. For details of pictures contact Picture Press GmbH
on +49 40 3703 2572. Baby Milk Action has no connection with
the agency nor responsibility for the pictures.
- An investigative television series in Germany, Kennzeichen
D, was to broadcast film of Mr. Raza in Pakistan on 8th December
1999. This was cancelled at the last minute after Nestlé's Communications
Director, Francois Perroud, met with a senior executive of ZDF
television. The journalist responsible for the film has since
resigned and it has been reported in Die Welt that the
28-year-old investigative television series responsible for
the film is to be axed by ZDF.
- Richard Howitt MEP is arranging for public hearings into
the baby food industry, scheduled for June, to take place at
the European Parliament. He has raised questions about Nestlé
- Nestlé has attempted to divert attention from the evidence
by alleging that Mr. Raza attempted to blackmail the company.
Mr. Raza denies this, saying his life was threatened by Nestlé
and he was offered money. Baby Milk Action position is the evidence
provided by Mr. Raza should be examined in its own right and
that the blackmail allegation is a separate issue. While the
blackmail allegation is a legal matter between Mr. Raza and
Nestlé, Baby Milk Action has been asking Nestlé to substantiate
its allegation for the past year without success.
Some news reports
on the Internet:
Medical Journal, 18th February 2000
Times, 16th February 2000
Mail, 16th February 2000