and Baby Milk Action debate - if Nestlé will let you
8th February 2003
Nestle, the target
of an international boycott because of its aggressive and irresponsible
marketing of breastmilk substitutes, appears to be in a state
of panic over the boycott. It has commissioned the public relations
firm Shandwick and is lobbying to send senior executives to speak
at universities to try to break the boycott. Nestlé attempts
to make its presentations without Baby Milk Action becoming aware
and on a number of occasions when we have been contacted by students
hearing of a planned visit by Nestlé we have been refused
the possibility of debating .
When Baby Milk Action
has been invited to debate, Nestlé has lost every time.
We have been shocked
by the outrageous and untrue claims Nestlé makes in its
presentations and we are seeking to expose its denials and deception
Unfortunately, Nestlé is refusing to allow the debates
to be filmed unless Baby Milk Action gives a written undertaking
that the film will be used for 'internal training purposes
only'. Nestlé has claimed that filming invades the
privacy of its staff, despite the fact they are speaking at public
events and on the record.
Baby Milk Action wants
access to a film of a debate to send a video tape to the World
Health Organisation, Oxfam, the media and others to expose how
Nestlé's senior staff make demonstrably untrue claims,
misrepresent statements made by third parties and suggest Nestlé
is working in partnership with organisations which in reality
have criticised its practices.
the debates have been surprised by the condition Nestlé
is putting on filming.
is not objecting to the media being present at the debates and,
we hope, would not object to filming by media (other than Baby
Milk Action), although this may temper what staff say.
If you would like to
attend a future debate, please let us know and we will send you
Prior to March
2001, Nestlé refused to speak at Universities and most
other public fora if Baby Milk Action was present. When we
attended the first debate at Cambridge University, we were
quickly disappointed to realise that Nestlé's change
in behaviour did not signify any willingness to change its
baby food marketing policies and practices to bring them into
line with World Health Assembly requirements. We put a four-point
plan to Nestlé at the debate, asking it to accept
the World Health Assembly requirements, with the aim of saving
infant lives and ultimately ending the boycott. Nestlé
immediately rejected the plan.
activity in targetting Universities and schools is catalysing
student activity, prompting the formation of Baby
Milk Action's Student Network. Also see the Education
Guardian/Learn.co.uk activities surrounding Nestlé's
baby milk marketing and Baby Milk Action's Seeing
through the Spin education pack.
For further information
Mike Brady, Campaigns
and Networking Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 01223 464420
Mobile: 07986 736179.