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UK Liberal Democrats back Nestlé boycott.

Press Release: 6th March 1999

The Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Edinburgh has today voted overwhelmingly not to spend Federal Party funds on Nestlé products and urges all Liberal Democrats to similarly avoid purchasing Nestlé products until the company changes its baby food marketing practices.

Nestlé is the target of a consumer boycott in 18 countries because of its on-going violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly.

In addition, the LibDem motion calls on all infant formula manufacturers to abide by the marketing code (i.e the International Code and Resolutions). The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save the lives of 1.5 million infants around the world every year.

The UK Government is called on to incorporate the marketing code into British law and to promote basic education on all nutrition and health issues, especially of women and girls concerning breastfeeding and infant health.

Mike Brady, Campaigns Coordinator at Baby Milk Action said, "I would like to thank the LibDems for supporting both the marketing code and the boycott and to congratulate the Youth and Students for bringing the issue to the Conference. Baby Milk Action's monitoring finds that Nestlé is responsible for more violations of the marketing code than any other company and that it takes the lead in attempting to undermine implementation of the Code by national governments. We wait to see if Nestlé will respond to the vote by admitting it needs to change its marketing policies and practices or by embarking on a public relations offensive."


The Liberal Democrat Party is the third largest in the UK Parliament with 46 MPs.

In January 1999 the Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints brought by Baby Milk Action against a 1996 Nestlé anti-boycott advertisement following one of its longest ever investigations. Marketing Week (February 11) said the ASA ruling is "a damning verdict on Nestlé, which effectively brands the global corporation a liar, insofar as it claimed to have marketed infant formula products ethically." Also see report in the British Medical Journal

Nestlé has appealed against the ASA ruling. Baby Milk Action is inviting the public to send donations to help fund the defense of the ruling and the preparation of other cases against those who break the marketing code. Donations can be sent to: Baby Milk Action, 23 St. Andrew's Street, Cambridge, CB2 3AX.

For further information contact Baby Milk Action. Tel: (01223) 464420 or 0370 380047 or browse this web-site.

James Graham of Liberal Democrat Youth & Students can be contacted on: 0956 487 515

photo: A self-proclaimed "former Smartie checker" spoke against the motion at the LibDem Conference in Brigton in September '98.
(c) 1999 Sam Milford.

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