Eye witness accounts of aggressive marketing in Bangladesh and the Philippines 2007
Posted 17 May 2007
People are always wanting to know whether Nestlé and other baby food companies are still misbehaving in the way they push their products. What is going on right now? An article in The Guardian on Tuesday 15 May 2007 was the journalist's eye witness account from Bangladesh.
Now you can see for yourself what is happening in the Philippines. This is a new film from UNICEF Philippines. We are contacting UNICEF to see if we can make this available on DVD. You can register your interest in having a copy - see below. In the meantime you can watch the clips UNICEF has posted today on Youtube. They are gathered together below.
We have just a few weeks left to save the marketing regulations that could stop the type of practices you see in the film. At present the industry is winning and the regulations have been suspended by the Supreme Court. We need your help to make the regulations law. Details follow the clips.
Here are the companies behind some of the brands promoted in the Philippines:
Nestlé: Bear Brand, Nan, Nestogen (see its 'Brain Building Blocks' claim), NIDO (whole milk promoted in many countries alongside infant formula).
Clip one Youtube address:
Clip two Youtube address:
Clip three Youtube address:
Clip four Youtube address:
Clip five Youtube address:
The clips show how baby food companies undermine breastfeeding, contributing to the unnecessary death and suffering of infants.
You can see the conditions under which mothers are using formula. You can see some of the company promotions. You can hear health workers explaining the pressure they are under to recommend company products. You can listen to recordings given by hidden company representatives, who explain the strategies they are taught to use.
The film also explains how the government has introduced regulations to try to stop the aggressive marketing which undermines breastfeeding. Some mothers are convinced that their babies will be more intelligent if they use formula. If mothers have problems with breastfeeding, the promotion means they are more likely to think switching to formula will give their child the same or better benefits as breastfeeding and so will be less likely to seek support for breastfeeding.
The marketing regulations have been challenged by the Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines (which does not include Nestlé, which has opposed the measure in other ways). They want to carry on with business as usual. After the US Chamber of Commerce put pressure on the President of the Philippines, the Supreme Court blocked the regulations. Next month the Supreme Court will rule on whether the regulations will stand or be struck down.
We have been campaigning in support of the Philippines and many of you will already have signed our petition of solidarity. If you have not, please do so now. The campaign to date has generated newspaper headlines in the Philippines and other countries. See: http://archive.babymilkaction.org/philippines/
If you would like a DVD of the film if we can make it available, you can register your interest via our on-line Virtual Shop and we will contact you on a first-come, first-served basis with the price once we have set this up. While there, please do look around the rest of the shop.