Q. Nestlé's Sustainability
Review shows the company's internal auditors standing in front of a
shop display for baby food which includes whole milks. Why do the auditors
A. (21 December 2006) Such
promotion puts infant health at risk and should not be taking place
Nestlé published a
Sustainability Review prior to its 2002 shareholder meeting and,
in the part relating to infant feeding, claims that the company's internal
auditors ensure that breastmilk substitutes are marketed in accordance
with company instructions. There is a lot wrong with the company instructions
- see our briefing on the Sustainability
Review inadvertently reveals another way in which Nestlé
endangers infant health. A picture is included showing internal
auditors in a shop in Argentina checking the labels of infant
formula (shown here).
Behind them, amongst
the tins of Nan infant formula in a section labelled
'Alimento Bebe' - baby food - are packets of Nido whole
milk. Poor mothers who have decided, or been persuaded, not to
breastfeed, often use whole milk as it is much cheaper than infant
formula. But, as Nestlé is well aware, this product should
not be used for infant feeding.
Executive, Mr. Peter Brabeck-Letmathé, claims to investigate
any hint of a violation and to take disciplinary action against
anyone who markets breastmilk substitutes inappropriately. Will
he put a stop to this dangerous promotion and discipline whoever
is behind the Sustainability Review and the auditors who
have allowed the promotion to continue?
the Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheet April-June
2002 for further details and a suggested letter of complaint
to be sent to Mr. Brabeck.
Such inappropriate marketing
is widespread, particularly in South America. In addition, the International
Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)
monitoring report Breaking
the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2001 notes in the section on Nestlé:
promotes Nido whole milk widely. In Côte dIvoire and Bolivia,
health and community workers encourage mixed feeding as of four months
by giving mothers free samples of Nido. Nido is promoted as follow-up
formula. There is no age recommendation on Nido."
provides shops with discounts, gifts and supplies of more products
when the shops make cash purchases, sell greater volumes of their
products, launch a new product or provide better shelf space than
It is unclear whether Nestlé
management are directly encouraging the dangerous and widespread promotion
of Nido and Ninho as a baby food. However, it is clear
from the Sustainability Review picture that the internal auditors
are aware of the practice. Why hasn't it been stopped?
Monitoring for Breaking
the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2001 was conducted in 14 countries.
In this section we will post further examples of inappropriate promotion
of Ninho and Nido. You are welcome to report examples
to us at Baby Milk Action.
If possible include a photograph of the promotion. However, note that
shop staff usually object to the taking of photographs on their premises,
especially of unethical practices such as this, and are unlikely to
give permission. Please provide the date and location of the promotion
(we will not publish these details, but may ask the appropriate health
inspectorate to visit the shop in question).
Gallery of shame
||Ninho on the
top shelf next to the Nan infant formula in a pharmacy in
Teresopolis, July 2002.
for Brazil during the World Cup
The Brazilian regulations
implementing the International Code and subsequent, relevant World
Health Assembly Resolutions require that advertisements for powdered
milk include a warning stating that they should not be used for
Ninho during Brazil's games during the football World Cup
without the phrase. Worse, the voice over for the advertisements
stated that Nestlé Ninho had supported Brazil since
'pequininho' - which is the Portuguese word generally used for
a young child.
their team's victory on 30th June 2002 at Copacabana beach in
Rio de Janeiro.
is promoted next to the Nan infant formula in pharmacies
- here in a section which was labelled 'mundo infantil' ('Infant
amongst the infant formula in supermarkets - here the whole milk
produced by itambé is also on display.
amongst the baby milk, nappies and baby powder in a pharmacy in
the Tijuca region of Rio de Janeiro, July 2002.
and Nan displayed together in a pharmacy in Petropolis,
A display of Kuka
dummies and feeding bottle teats is alongside (Kuka is
a separate company). Special displays such as this are also banned
by the Brazilian regulations.
Riberão Preto, Brazil, December 2001 - Nestlé Ninho
wholemilk displayed in the baby care section of a pharmacy alongside
Example from the Philippines, November 2006
In the Philippines Nestlé promoted Nido as follows in a parenting magazine in November 2006 :
"For me there's only one milk for all my kids. No matter what the age, I give them NIDO fortified full cream milk. It's complete to support the 10 Signs of Good Nutrition. Now that's what I call perfect!"
Nestlé re-enforces the idea that Nido can be used for all children:
"No matter what age, give all your children one milk - NIDO Fortified."