Friday, May 18, 2007

Demonstration tomorrow at Nestlé (UK) HQ

So the car is loaded with stuff to take to Croydon tomorrow for a little stunt to try to draw attention to Nestlé's pushing of baby milks. See:

We have some Nestlé violations and will use them to show how Nestlé targets health workers and mothers. You can see the impact, and hear from witnesses to this happening on the ground, in the new film from UNICEF Philippines. See:

Of course, Nestlé is not the only company at fault. The clips include malpractice of others such as Wyeth and Mead Johnson. But globally Nestlé is found to be responsible for more violations than any other company and for violating more provisions of the marketing requirements than any other company. That's why Nestlé is singled out for boycott action. But the others do not get off the hook. They are targeted with letter writing campaigns and media exposure. And our work for legislation is effective in stopping violations from all of them, though there are still too many countries without measures in place.

We are campaigning to defend the regulations introduced by the Ministry of Health in the Philippines. These have been blocked by the Supreme Court, following legal action by pharmaceutical companies and pressure on the President from the Chamber of Commerce. That's why we are asking you to write to the companies responsible and send a message of support to the Philippines. See:

Nestlé is not a member of the pharmaceutical assocation that has brought the legal action - being a food company. It has claimed to support the regulations, but breaks the current weaker measures and has opposed some aspects of the new ones.

Nestlé Philippines wrote to us last year, objecting to us including it in our campaign in support of the Philippines, copying its letter to the Secretary of Health, WHO and various others. It said our reports of violations were years old and incorrect. I responded, giving further substantiation for our information. You can read the letters at:

Nestlé has replied to this letter picking up on the points we made. Though it does not agree with our assessment of its marketing, it does at least admit to some of the things we have highlighted. It puts these down to flaws in its marketing systems and admits that authorities in the Philippines have told it gifts for healthworkers we highlighted as violations are just that.

Strangely, though, Nestlé did not send this reply to my letter to me. A little rude seeing as Nestlé initiated this correspondence.

Perhaps it was an oversight. I have asked Nestlé's Head of Corporate Affairs to meet me tomorrow with a copy or to leave it at reception.

Find out what happened in Monday's blog.

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