Thursday, May 17, 2007

Watch film from the Philippines here

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? The article in The Guardian on Tuesday was the journalist's eye witness account from Bangladesh. See:
http://boycottnestle.blogspot.com/2007/05/guardian-investigates-nestl-in.html

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:

Abott: Similac

Mead Johnson: Alacta, Enfapro

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:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=SNYDPKQOVUE




Clip two Youtube address:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZIEiTIaIuT4



Clip three Youtube address:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=y4lxuiCazL0



Clip four Youtube address:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=bkq30iXB8fI



Clip five Youtube address:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=mM43K3n9Mc4

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://www.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.

Check back to the blog tomorrow as I will be revealing how Nestlé, one of the companies whose violations are exposed in the film, has secretly tried to undermine Baby Milk Action's campaign in support of the Philippines.

9 comments:

doula_tam said...

Thank you for posting this information!

Mum-to-be, Edinburgh said...

Thank you for posting this important and well-made documentary. Though I've been a Nestle boycotter for a long time, the underhanded tactics of the formula milk multinationals never cease to amaze me.

It's literally criminal that they're getting away with such lying propaganda! Not only are they adding to the poverty of so many families, but directly contributing to infant mortality and morbidity rates in a country with so many other problems. I'll be watching your campaign with interest and doing all I can to contribute.

Anonymous said...

your claims about infant mortality and morbidity due to infant formulas are baseless . I think many infants died not because of using infant formula but because of upper and lower respiratory infections,like pneumonias, etc. check your local hospitals to see what I mean. in my entire career as a nutritional rep i have yet to see or encounter a baby dying because of using the right infant formula.

Anna Lundquist said...

It is saddening to see a comment from a person that claims to be an expert but still won't display their name. When we know that scientists still haven't found all the ingredients in real breastmilk and still it is impossible to perfectly copy what they do know. Not even the richest and most educated mother can say that bottlefeeding is safer and healthier than the real thing - the nurturing closeness and perfect nutrition of breastfeeding.

mother of two intelligent happy healthy kids

Anna Lundquist said...

It is saddening to see a comment from a person that claims to be an expert but still won't display their name. When we know that scientists still haven't found all the ingredients in real breastmilk and still it is impossible to perfectly copy what they do know. Not even the richest and most educated mother can say that bottlefeeding is safer and healthier than the real thing - the nurturing closeness and perfect nutrition of breastfeeding.

Mother of two healthy happy intelligent kids

Anonymous said...

Enlightening...

I was suppose to be searching for my baby's formula in the net and stumble on this documentary. Im a working mom and cant fully intend to do full breastfeeding. Resigning from my career and a well paid job to concentrate on motherhood. This encourage me more to concentrate breastfeeding my baby!!

thanks!

-a new mom-

Em Rosal said...

I'm an aid worker in the Philippines and see first hand everyday how the milk companies lie and manipulate mums. And it's the babies that truly suffer, they die from infection from the dirty water used to make up the milk, low immune systems and malnutrition. I've seen if for myself many times. Thanks for making this honest and interesting documantary.

Ryan Khaleyl said...

This is indeed enlightening to all of us. I have been supporting this movement I hope my fellow countrymen will think of this seriously. Hoping that we together can make a change for good. Mabuhay! Thank you!

Melofshanoah said...

The top killers of infants in third world nations are diarrhea and pneumonia. The primary risk factor for developing either condition is formula feeding. Check the Ghana and Nepal breastfeeding studies of 10,000 and 20,000 breast- and bottle-fed infants. Both were published in the last couple years and can be found on the American Academy of Pediatrics website.