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Issue 25: July 1999

The news items which appear on this page are abridged versions of stories which appear in full in the printed version of Update, which is available to members of Baby Milk Action. Membership costs just £18 waged, £7 unwaged, £25 family, £50 organisations - for members outside the UK there is an extra postage charge. You can join on-line in the Virtual Shop.

Table of Contents

Boycott news

supplement with the latest on the Nestlé boycott

Editorial: Big players in the spotlight

The world we live in has been shaped by the politics of food: be it the battle to control trade routes to spices or the enslavement of people from Africa to work on plantations in the colonies of the new world. This process continues, with power increasingly resting in the hands of transnational companies - companies which challenge the sovereignty of national governments. Over recent months we have seen how a trade war between the United States and Europe has threatened to explode because US transnationals wanted an end to European banana quotas - quotas intended to assist former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific to escape from dependency on aid handouts. The right of Europe to ban what it considers a dangerous genetically modified hormone - rBST - has also been attacked. In both cases the final word will come from the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In March, Paddy Ashdown MP, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, spoke on the global economy at his party's conference: "Who will regulate the global players, and how? The currency traders, the satellite broadcasters, the multi-nationals, operating in all countries but responsible to none? Sooner or later we are going to have to find ways to put limits on the power of the global players. And we cannot do that alone." There is growing pressure for international organisations, such as WTO, not only to police free-trade, but to enforce international standards intended to protect health, the environment and human rights.

This trend will become evident later this year as the European Parliament commences public hearings on European-based businesses to investigate their operations in developing countries. The baby food industry is set to be at the front of the queue for public scrutiny and we will be there to shine the spotlight on their shameful activities with the help of our overseas colleagues. To set the scene we take a closer look at the big players in the baby food industry in this issue.

And here is a thought for anyone who questions why unethical companies have not responded positively to the campaign and made the necessary changes to their marketing practices: the nature of business is one of perpetual competition. Fighting against those protecting infant health is not so different from fighting against a competing company for the pennies of a customer - and that is a cold, calculating and ruthless pursuit.

Medical foods directive sneaks through

900 Non-Governmental Development Organisations (NGDOs) have called on the European Commission to amend the new Directive on Dietary Foods for Special Medical Purposes. (1999/21/EC) The Directive, which fails to include any of the safeguards of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, was finally adopted on 25 March, soon after the resignation of the European Commission over charges of corruption (Martin Bangemann, responsible for baby food marketing, has come in for specific criticism). The Directive falsely suggests the International Code only applies to breastmilk substitutes for healthy babies.

Mike Aaronson, Director General of Save the Children and President of the EU-NGDO Liaison Committee, proposing the Resolution, regretted the failure of the Commission to consult more widely and emphasised the need for the EU to consider the global implications of all its policies. Glenys Kinnock, MEP, has written to the Commission calling for greater tranparency regarding the scientific advice given on these technical issues, and has asked for a detailed analysis of how the Directive came to be adopted - details of the meeting between the Commission and representatives of Member States are kept secret.

Medicalising infant feeding - a marketing ploy

A UK advertisement for Nutricia's Infatrini describes it as a "prescribable high energy feed" for babies who are failing to thrive. No mention is made of breastfeeding and its benefits for babies (including those who are "failing to thrive"), or whether the product is harmful for normal babies. The new Directive which is not yet incorporated into UK law, is referenced, apparently as justification. Health workers are becoming increasingly concerned about the health risks of such promotion. The Health Visitors Association, which ran the advert, will not take more until the matter has been investigated.

  • Specialised formulas are promoted aggressively in many countries, with no regard for the International Code. The report Feeding Fiasco, by the Network Association for the Rational Use of Drugs in Pakistan, contains many examples. Bizarre diagnoses such as 'lactose load-exceeding-lactase production' are cited as the underlying causes of common feeding occurances, such as loose stools, nappy rashes, diarrhoea, restlessness and general fussiness. Many doctors in Pakistan are now suspecting lactose intolerance in all restless babies and are prescribing lactose-free and other specialised formulas.
Contact Baby Milk Action if you know of cases where Infatrini has been recommended. Write to the President of the European Commission, Mr Prodi, calling for the Directive to be brought in line with the International Code and Resolutions, c/o the European Commission, Rue de la Loi, 200, B 1049 Brussels, Belgium.

European Parliament to investigate baby food industry

Baby Milk Action has welcomed the opportunity to submit evidence to the European Parliament about the marketing malpractice of baby food companies with a presence in Europe. Public hearings are scheduled to take place later this year as the Parliament acts on a Resolution adopted in January 1999 to make companies answerable for their activities in developing countries.

Richard Howitt MEP, who steered the Resolution through the European Parliament, expressed his hope that the baby food industry would be examined as a priority when commenting on the recent ruling by the UK Advertising Standards Authority against Nestlé's claims to market infant formula "ethically and responsibly" (see Boycott News 25).

IBFAN groups around the world will have the opportunity to present evidence to the public hearings.

  • Send a letter supporting the public hearings to your MEP (or, if you are outside the European Union, to Richard Howitt MEP, 13G113, 1047, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium).

Russian partner visits UK

A new IBFAN group has been registered in the Russian Federation as a direct consequence of the NGO Capacity Building Seminar organised by Baby Milk Action in Moscow in November 1998. Natalja Vartapetova, the Chair of the new group, known as "Kolybel" (Cradle), spoke on IBFAN's work at the Healthy Planet NGO Forum in June this year, which took place alongside a WHO Ministerial Meeting. Dr. Vartapetova presented evidence demonstrating how promotion of breastfeeding has had a dramatic impact in reducing sickness and, hence, costs. In Electrostal, close to Moscow and home of the first UNICEF-certified Baby Friendly Hospital in Russia, demand for breastmilk substitutes has fallen so low that unwanted stocks have been fed to cattle.

United Nations dilemma

Wooing the UN

"The ...budget for the whole of the UN System is about $8 billion - what US citizens spend on cut flowers and potted plants." In a time beyond warnings Erskine Childers, CIIR. '93

The aim of the United Nations system is to protect human rights, and increasingly, its agencies are seeking to encourage responsible business. However, the UN has limited resources, and as it seeks to solve both problems, partnerships are being formed which are causing concern for those working to regulate global corporations.

The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan has invited the "leaders of global business" to share "values and principles" and to "give a human face to the global market." Meanwhile, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has solicited funds from corporations, offering in return the use of special UNDP sanctioned logos. In contrast, Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF urges careful consideration and "due diligence." Although UNICEF has the most extensive corporate involvement of any UN agency, it attaches ethical strings to its contracts, and does not accept donations from companies marketing cigarettes, landmines or infant formula.

In her inaugural speech, WHO's Director-General, Dr Brundtland, called for "open and constructive relations with industry, knowing where our roles differ and where they may complement each other." However, WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative is being partly funded by pharmaceutical manufacturers, one of which has seconded a person to WHO. Health Action International, Consumers International, IBFAN and others, sent a joint letter expressing concern about these developments to Dr Brundtland during the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May. In response, she referred to ethical guidelines being drawn up by a new Committee on Private Sector Collaboration.

  • During the Ministerial Round Table discussions on HIV at the WHA , questions were asked about the US$250 million spent on meetings, workshops and transport for UN staff, while only $50 million was spent on the HIV/AIDS programme itself.

UNAIDS to decide on formula donations

Baby Milk Action and our IBFAN partners have met a number of senior UNAIDS staff to discuss concerns about the effect of corporate donations on UNAIDS' research priorities, pilot studies and education programmes and how this may be exacerbated if baby food company donations - of any kind - are accepted. New research in South Africa, to be published soon, indicates that the risk of transmission when mothers breastfeed exclusively may be significantly less than with mixed feeding. It appears that previous studies have compared only mixed feeding and exclusive artificial feeding. UNAIDS staff will be meeting to discuss the implications of this and other recent research. Statements made by African health ministers at the WHA demonstrated that confusion exists over what is recommended practice in different conditions.

Philanthropy online...

The world wide web reveals the importance businesses place on funding and influencing the UN. It also shows how HIV/AIDS is providing the ultimate cause-related marketing opportunity for companies to present themselves as the saviours of the world's children. Philanthropy Journal Online, cites the $100 million donated by the US pharmaceutical and babyfood company Bristol Myers/Mead Johnson for a 5-year AIDS programme, which will include grants to NGOs working in Southern Africa. Bristol Myers' own website states that even though it has not yet been asked to participate in UNICEF's infant feeding studies, "The company has, however, initiated a dialogue with UNAIDS to discern if there is a role for the company in improving the outlook for infants..." (July 99)

The International Code protects mothers' rights to information which is independent of vested interests. Companies see an opportunity in education programmes as: " also increases sales of HIV products by developing the HIV marketplace... the returns will ultimately materialise...most of this HIV market is untapped..." Bristol Myers website July 99 (

A decision by the Namibian Government to distance itself from the Bristol Myers Initiative, in favour of its own multi-sectorial National AIDS Co-ordination Programme, demonstrates that the involvement of large corporations is not always appropriate or wanted. In 1997 South Africa passed a law which allows compulsory licensing for AIDS drugs, enabling it to produce or import cheaper, generic drugs. The pharmaceutical industry, anxious to protect patents and profits, is attacking these moves, and pushing instead its philanthropy.

Up to 50% of drug donations for Kosovo are inappropriate and have to be destroyed, costing millions of dollars. WHO figures given in the New York Times, 29 June 1999

  • At its AGM in June, Nestlé executives called for criticism of the company to stop, arguing that by working in partnership babies' lives would be saved.(See Boycott News).

    In a carefully staged, emotional performance, one shareholder, Christine Renaudin, claiming to be independent, presented a report, Nestlé and the Infant Feeding Controversy, which Nestlé distributed to the shareholders. The report gives a simplistic account of the HIV/AIDS dilemma and presents extreme arguments, falsely implying that they came from IBFAN. 'Activists' are quoted - sometimes anonymously - as saying that mothers infected with HIV should not have access to information and that it is better to let babies die, than take away the right of all infants to be breastfed. (See Update 22 & Update 23 for IBFAN's position on HIV/AIDS), Nestlé is portrayed as a model company, whose main objective is the humanitarian provision of breastmilk substitutes.

Bigger than nations

The big 12 companies in the baby food business have wide-ranging interests, giving them enormous economic and, hence, political power. Their combined turnover amounts to US$180 billion, more than the annual production (GDP) of Denmark's 5.3 million people or Thailand's 61 million people. Who are these companies and who runs them?

The big four...

In the full version of Update (available from Baby Milk Action) we give details of the biggest twelve companies, rated by estimated worldwide sales of baby food. The bulk of the global baby food industry is controlled by just four TransNational Corporations (TNCs): Nestlé, Wyeth, Abbott-Ross and Mead-Johnson/Bristol-Myers Squibb. Nestlé alone controls about 40% of the world baby milk market.

As the analysis shows, Nestlé is by far the most powerful company in terms of its total business turnover. At US$52 billion, the world's largest food company takes more money than its three main competitors combined (amounting to over £1,000 per second). It also employs more people and is present in more countries. The smaller three have one advantage when it comes to infant feeding: they all have substantial interests in pharmaceuticals, which gives them ready access to health professionals and health facilities. It is for this reason that Nestlé took them to court in the United States for agreeing with the American Academy of Pediatricians to a ban on infant formula media advertising. As its competitors had promotion through the health care system sown up, Nestlé wanted to target mothers directly. Nestlé lost its court battles, but the advertising ban collapsed. While today all companies advertise infant formula in the United States, Nestlé is the most aggressive in promoting to parents - recently it received a business award for the success of its Carnation campaign (see Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheet February 1999).

In the State of the Code by Company chart produced by IBFAN's International Code Documentation Centre (available from Baby Milk Action) the big four receive very similar ratings for their activities in terms of the Code articles they break. Nestlé stands out because of the scale of its interests and the pressure it applies on governments in an attempt to undermine implementation of the Code.

...and the rest

The majority of the rest of the big twelve are dairy or food companies, with two notable exceptions. NUMICO (formed following Nutricia's takeover of Milupa and Cow&Gate) specialises in nutrition products and Gerber/Novartis is another pharmaceutical company. NUMICO is attempting to buy the dairy activities of Hindustan Lever Ltd. so that it can expand into India and it recently bought the Chinese Qihe Dairy Corporation Ltd. A stock market analyst commented: "Apart from the absolute size of both markets, birth rates are high and the usage of baby and toddler nutrition is still low. We therefore see these acquisitions as a positive step for Numico." Expect vigorous competition for customers in these markets soon.

Competition - what it is all about

Reading through the annual reports of these companies it is noteworthy that all plan to grow and capture new markets - which means more babies on the bottle. A Nestlé spokesperson recently attempted to justify its advertising of infant formula in the United States as follows: "Marketing and advertising benefit the market place and consumers by increasing competition, lowering prices and helping to educate consumers on product choices." This conflicts with the reasoning behind the International Code. The Code states: "The marketing of breastmilk substitutes requires special treatment, which makes usual marketing practices unsuitable for these products." The reason is simple, when companies compete with each other for a larger share of the market, they inevitably compete with breastfeeding.

The big 12 companies have achieved their billion-dollar turnovers by persuading people to buy their products. Every day they are battling with each other - that is what competition means. This is what people working to protect infant health are up against.

  • Unholy alliances
    These companies sometimes pool their influence and work together. Most are members of the International Association of Infant Formula Manufacturers (IFM) which represents the interests of the industry at the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other UN organisations. When it comes to protecting infant health, however, IFM states: "Because of antitrust constraints, there is little that IFM can do about a member company that violates the WHO Code."

    In the UK, publicity materials encourage mothers to contact the organisation INFORM which lobbies for "freedom of information" on bottle feeding. The materials do not mention that INFORM is a front organisation for the UK industry body, the Infant and Dietetic Food Association (IDFA).

Codex success

The Codex Commission, which sets international food standards, is currently revising the standards for infant formula and cereal-based complementary foods. The food industry dominates Codex and at the June meeting in Rome were lobbying for weak labelling and for "4-6 months" to be used as the appropriate age for the introduction of complementary foods, rather than "about 6 months," which is cited in the WHA Resolutions. IBFAN members, working for the improvement of the standards, were pleased that many governments called for the complementary foods standard to be referred back to committee for further work and improvements regarding the appropriate age and nutrition value.


Nestlé bottles Pakistan's water

Nestlé has launched a "low-cost" bottled water called Pure Life targeted at developing countries. As predicted in Baby Milk Action's briefing paper: Bottled water and infant feeding (available from Baby Milk Action). Pakistan has been selected as the test-bed. The marketing strategy began with a series of "awareness seminars," organised by Nestlé's PR company and involving key government officials who claimed that urban water supplies were contaminated and other bottled water then on the market was tainted - Nestlé's connection with the seminars was not revealed. Soon after the seminars, Nestlé unleashed its Pure Life sales force in Karachi, this handed out leaflets and samples backed by a billboard campaign with the slogan "welcome to purity." Having capitalised on the fears raised by the seminars, Nestlé is now distancing itself from them, claiming: "We didn't want to be perceived as stirring up controversy." The Managing Director of the Lahore Water Supply Company commented "These foreign companies are misleading the people to make money."

According to UNICEF, 26% of the population in Pakistan does not have access to safe water and further development of resources is necessary, particularly if the poorest are to benefit. Now that Nestlé is extracting water, purifying it and selling it to those who can afford it, the political will to act may be undermined.

Nestlé to launch infant foods in UK

Nestlé has announced that it will be launching a range of foods in the UK this year, targeted for one- to three-year-olds, with a blue bear logo. A Nutrition Business Unit was set up in the UK last year. (Also see Boycott News 24 - Nestlé targets UK health workers).

  • Baby Organix reports that organic baby food now makes up 20% of the UK market and the mainstream companies are jumping on the band wagon. Nestlé, which champions food-processing and genetically modified food is no exception.


SMA Audit

On phoning the SMA Careline a caller was told that the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) had given SMA a 'thumbs up' following an audit (including monitoring phonecalls) conducted by the RCM. SMA deny that their staff made such claims and said: "we would never use the College [RCM] or any other bodies name without their specific agreement" Apparently no audit took place but two representatives from the RCM attended the Careline for 20 minutes - during which time there were no calls.

RCM conference

This year Baby Milk Action was pleased to have a stand at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) conference in Glasgow (Photo shows Helen Borg from IBFAN Malta and Tessa Martyn, Baby Milk Action's Health Campaigns Coordinator). Many thanks for the generous donations from supporters who made attendance possible. It was an excellent opportunity for raising awareness of the 'politics' of artificial feeding, and for sharing views with midwives from around the country.

However, once again many of the activities of the baby milk companies were in violation of the International Code and some were in breach of the UK Law. For example, Farley's were giving out, free, 900g tins of powdered infant formula and follow-on milk. Also, every delegates pack included a leaflet from SMA offering a "hand or nail consultation or a free gift" The SMA stand had no factual and/or scientific information, and instead offered only manicures. (The same as last year!)

If the baby milk companies are to be present at conferences such as this then their sole purpose should be to provide factual and scientific information (article 7.2, International Code). Their presence should not be used as an opportunity for promotional or advertising activities

Infant feeding in Kosovar refugee camps


This is the clear message given on WHO's website (

Dr. Edlira Sharra and Dr. Mirela Dibra of the Albanian IBFAN group (pictured) worked with Kosovar refugees, setting up well-baby centres and training breastfeeding counsellors. Explaining their work at an IBFAN meeting on Code Advocacy in Bratislava in June, Dr. Dibra said, "Tons of formula arrived in Albania for Kosovar children that are breastfed in a majority of cases. Nobody asked if there was really need for it. I do believe that intentions were good, but I also strongly believe that sending formula for the babies of a breastfeeding culture country is a nonsense. It was breastmilk that protected Kosovar babies from getting epidemic of diarrhoea in these very poor hygenic conditions. We do not know what to do with all these leftovers of infant formula. We are afraid that they will end up on the black market and this will affect our high breastfeeding rates."

(For further information see

Other UK news

5 Year Genetic Freeze

Baby Milk Action has signed up to the 5 Year Freeze Campaign, an alliance of 61 UK organisations calling for a halt to the growing, patenting and import of genetically modified crops. We are also working with other agencies to halt the use of the hormone rBST in Europe. The success of these campaigns has shown the potential power of coordinated consumer action. A welcome spin-off has been the exposure of the conflicts of interest which exist on the scientific committees, which advise governments, the European Union and the UN.

For more information: 5 Year Freeze and the Genetics Forum, c/o 94 White Lion St, London, N1 9PF

Towards National, Regional and Local Strategies

The UK Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) has produced a new paper which aims to increase support for women's rights to choose how they feed their babies. Andrew Radford, Director of the UK BFI said: "Across the country most women decide to breastfeed their babies but the majority stop breastfeeding before they want to. A co-ordinated national and local approach, addressing obstacles to successful breastfeeding at all levels, will help ensure that mothers are properly supported to feed their babies in the manner they choose."

The 12 page colour paper is available from BFI Tel:0171 836 5901

Breastmilk protects against pneumonia

Globally, pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age. A study in Brazil (n = 5304) found that infants who were artificially fed were 17 times more likely than those being exclusively breastfed of being admitted to hospital for pneumonia. Infants aged under 3 months were at greater risk.

A higher risk was also associated with the supplementation of solids - this risk decreased as the age increased. The authors conclude: "Mothers must be encouraged to breast feed very young infants and be advised of the right time to introduce supplementary foods."

Ref: Impact of breastfeeding on admission for pneumonia during postneonatal period in Brazil: nested case-control study, J.A. César et al, BMJ 318:1316-1320, May 1999.

NHS trust apologises for company talks

Bath West Community NHS Trust has apologised for a postnatal talk which was given by an SMA rep to mothers (where free gifts were distributed). Following a complaint the Trust Complaints Manager wrote: "I should like to apologise that this [the talk] happened and confirm that it should not have done."

The conflict of interest which arises when baby milk company representatives are invited by health visitors to give talks to mothers is a matter of serious concern. Currently the UK Law fails to explicitly prohibit such talks - or contact between mothers and reps, although reps are not allowed to give out gifts or promotional materials (para 20). The International Code and Resolutions (article 5.5) strictly prohibits reps seeking direct or indirect contact with pregnant women or mothers. Also, paragraph 16 of the UKCC Code of Conduct states "ensure that your registration status is not used in the promotion of commercial products or services...ensure that your professional judgement is not influenced by any commercial considerations". If reps have new 'product information' this should be disseminated to the relevant health professionals in a factual and scientific manner (no promotion, no advertisements no talks to mothers and no gifts). It seems that this Trust is making headway by acknowledging that reps talking to mothers is inappropriate, and implying that it will not happen again.

The US soya push

Soya-based baby milks are promoted for babies with lactose intolerance or for babies of vegetarian parents, with little mention of numerous concerns associated with them, such as the presence of genetically modified ingredients, phytoestrogens and high glucose and aluminium content. The decision to use a soya-based baby milk should not be taken lightly. The UK and New Zealand Departments of Health state that soya milks should only be used on the advice of health professionals, and in very specific circumstances. (A simple test will confirm if the baby really is lactose intolerant.)

2% of babies in the UK are fed soya-based baby milks, but in the USA where they are widely promoted (directly to mothers and on the Internet) they are fed to 25% of babies. Contact Baby Milk Action for more information on soya milks.

UK Law Working Group complains about INFORM

The UK Law Working Group (the ad-hoc group of health professional and mother support agencies working to bring the UK law into line with the International Code and Resolutions) has written to the Director-General of WHO and to Tessa Jowell, Minister of Health, calling for an inquiry into the activities of INFORM. INFORM claims to work on behalf of parents, yet its leaflets fail to mention that it was formed by the baby food industry cartel, the Infant and Dietetic Foods Association (IDFA). Members of the working group who have rung INFORM for information (given on its free BT phone card) appear to have been entered on company databases and have then been sent baby food promotional materials.

Breastfeeding: Education for life

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) this year (1st - 7th August) focuses on "Education for life". The aims of the week include encouraging the incorporation of education on breastfeeding (and appropriate infant feeding practices) into all levels of education; involving children of all ages in WBW activities and encouraging the integration of breastfeeding experiences and practices into children's developmental materials and toys. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has produced a full colour 6 page booklet is available from Baby Milk Action (50p each, for bulk orders contact us).

Breastmilk - the designer milk for babies

This year's National Breastfeeding Awareness Week (NBAW, 16th - 23rd May) aimed to "capture the imagination of young women, particularly those on low incomes" (Tessa Jowell) by highlighting breastmilk as the "designer label" food for babies. £1 million is to be spent on promoting breastfeeding - although a welcome move, this is still a mere drop in the ocean compared with the estimated £12 million which the baby milk companies spend every year on advertising and promotion.

Reports and books

Tip of the Iceberg

"Marketing and advertising benefit the market place and consumers by increasing competition, lowering prices and helping to educate consumers on product choices." This is how Nestlé justified advertising infant formula when asked to stop, demonstrating its contempt for the International Code and Resolutions. Find out how companies responded to other cases highlighted on the Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheets. Tip of the Iceberg - Volume 2 includes Nestlé's threat to close its factory in Zimbabwe if a baby food marketing law came into force, Dumex's secret magazine with tips on how to undermine the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and Mead Johnson's claim that babies fed on its formula cry less. (£2.50 inc. P&P. Contact Baby Milk Action or see it on this website: Company responses)

UK NGO report on infant feeding in emergencies

The report Infant Feeding in Emergencies has been produced following a series of meetings initiated by Baby Milk Action, involving UK development agencies. The report will be of interest to groups and individuals working in emergency situations or supporting these activities. It includes a model advertisement for appropriate fundraising, suggested policy and guidelines for agencies and a protocol for healthworkers advising mothers on infant feeding. (£3.30 inc. P&P. Contact Baby Milk Action). The report is available on the Emergency Nutrition Network web site at

International meeting on infant feeding in emergency situations

This report contains presentations made at an IBFAN International Meeting held in Croatia in October 1998. Case studies examine the impact of different approaches to infant feeding, highlighting good and bad practice. The damaging impact of inappropriate donations of breastmilk substitutes is a central concern. The workshops looked at strategies for a coordinated practical approach at national level, including activities before emergencies arise. Copies can be ordered from WEMOS (Tel: +31 20 4 688388 E-mail: or see the web site

Hungry for power

Hungry for Power has been published by the UK Food Group, a coalition of UK NGOs working for food security. It exposes the activities of major transnationals and how these make it harder for the world to feed itself. The companies examined are: Nestlé, Cargill, Monsanto, Chiquita, Zeneca and British American Tobacco. The report can be found on the internet at Contact Baby Milk Action for information about paper copies.

Ties that bind?

A one-day conference in Paris organised by Health Action International addressed the sponsorship dilemma. The report includes the experiences of speakers and participants who have both taken corporate funds and refused them. Contact HAI for further details (Tel: +31 20 683 3684 E-mail: HAI@HAI.ANTENNA.NL website:

Food security and corporate expansion

Baby Milk Action took part in a seminar at Christian Aid in July 1998 to present the lessons learned from the baby milk campaign and their relevance to other campaigns to protect health and human rights. The report of the seminar, including presentations from the Ethical Trading Initiative, the Transnationals Institute and the Consumers' Association is available. (£1.00 in the UK to cover duplication and P&P. Contact Baby Milk Action)

Effective NGO campaigning

This UK government funded study conducted by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) focused on two campaigns with both a local grassroots element and an international profile: the campaign against child labour in the carpet industry in India and IBFAN's work in Ghana (GINAN). "Effective campaigns require long-term commitment and happen at many different levels...collaboration is essential, while individuals are also key." Effective NGO Campaigning Contact NEF (Tel: +44 (0)171 407 7447)

Big business, Poor peoples

In 1994, journalist John Madeley, brought a motion to the Church of England General Synod calling for disinvestment from Nestlé. Nestlé's aggressive PR attack on IBFAN, UNICEF and other agencies resulted in the motion being narrowly defeated. However the concern continued. 26 agencies formed the monitoring group, IGBM (which confirmed the validity of IBFAN's reports) and... "The idea of this book was born at that meeting, because it made me think about the claims of TNCs and to wonder what they are trying to hide. In researching this book, I found that the effects of TNCs on the poor are more severe than I expected." Big Business, Poor Peoples by John Madeley, Zed Books £13.99.


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