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Dr Oscar Lanza - Coordinator IBFAN Bolivia
interviewed on 20th March 2003 by Baby Milk Action.

The Bolivian group belonging to the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) is, Accion Internacional por la Salud (Health Action International (Bolivia)). AIS has been campaigning to protect, support and promote appropriate infant feeding since 1987. AIS Coordinator, Oscar Lanza MD. MPH., was interviewed by Baby Milk Action on 20th March 2003 by telephone, speaking from La Paz in Bolivia as part of Baby Milk Action's efforts to ensure the voice of people in developing countries is heard.

The interview has been cut into several short clips. You will need RealPlayer or RealOne software to listen to the clips. You can download the latest version from If the player does not open automatically when you click on the links, open the 'preferences' for your browser and go to the 'file handling' options. Set the application for files of the type '.ram' to you RealPlayer or RealOne software.

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Clip One: Dr. Lanza explains why AIS is campaigning to protect infant health.

Click here to hear clip one.

Clip Two: Dr. Lanza gives an overview of the infant feeding situation in Bolivia.

It is estimated that 23,000 infant lives could be saved in Bolivia every year through the promotion of appropriate infant nutrition.

Click here to hear clip two.

Clip Three: Dr. Lanza explains the impact of aggressive promotion of breastmilk substitutes.

Dr. Lanza explains how aggressive promotion undermines breastfeeding, affecting rich and poor alike. Baby food companies sometimes claim that only wealthy mothers use their formula. But poor mothers try to imitate the images presented to them - putting inappropriate miks and teas in the feeding bottle, in the mistaken belief that even these must be better than their own breastmilk.

Click here to hear clip three.

Clip Four: Dr. Lanza explains how AIS attempts to stop marketing malpractice.

AIS (IBFAN Bolivia) monitors the baby food companies and exposes them nationally and, with the help of its partners in the IBFAN network, internationally.

Click here to hear clip four.

Clip Five: Dr. Lanza describes the progress in targetting violations.

Much media advertising has been stopped, but companies continue to use a variety of methods to encourage and persuade health workers to prescribe their products.

Click here to hear clip five.

Clip Six: Dr. Lanza discusses progress made in introducing legislation to regulate the marketing of breastmilk substitutes.

AIS (IBFAN Bolivia) has developed a draft law with widespread involvement of all sectors of the community and health workers and the baby food companies. The law remains with the national parliament which appears to lack the political will to introduce marketing restrictions as it attempts to insert the country into the 'free' trade, global market.

Click here to hear clip six.

Clip Seven: Dr. Lanza explains how transnational companies have obstructed the adoption of the law.

Transnationals have been an obstacle to the introduction of the law, which is still pending, and have also attempted to influence the Bolivian Government's position at international meetings such as those of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which sets food standards.

Click here to hear clip seven.

Clip Eight: Dr. Lanza responds to the question 'What about malnourished mothers who cannot breastfeed'?

Scientific evidence shows that it is not true that malnourished mothers cannot breastfeed and this is the experience in Bolivia, where malnutrition is widespread. Mothers are being negatively influenced by promotion from the companies to doubt their ability to breastfeed.

Click here to hear clip eight.

Clip Nine: Dr. Lanza speaks on his attitude to the Nestlé boycott.

Dr. Lanza supports the boycott. He reasons that while poor mothers in Bolivia and elsewhere lack information and are misled into believing they cannot breastfeed, the executives of Nestlé are educated and fully appreciate the impact of their unethical promotion.

Click here to hear clip nine.

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