Friday, September 12, 2008

The first choice to count on for infant feeding?

Ho, ho, ho. These marketing people, eh? Legally, in the UK, companies have not been able to claim that their formula is 'closer to breastmilk' or 'closest to breastmilk' since 1995. This didn't stop them though and it took concerted campaigning, monitoring and reporting before the authorities actually cracked down on illegal claims. See:

But the marketing people are ever imaginative. Having removed its 'closer to breastmilk' slogan, Wyeth has changed its SMA logo to incorporate a stylized breastfeeding woman as the M.

Aptamil had the slogan: 'The closest to breastmilk'. The company has now been taken over by Danone and is being a little more imaginative in its approach to bending the law. An advertisement targeting health workers, reveals the strategy. These advertisements now have to carry a more prominent 'Breastfeeding is best for babies' message. But what is the bigger Danone headline: "Why you can count on Aptamil First".

Not first, in terms of before breastmilk, they didn't mean that at all. Aptamil First is the name of the formula, so it is all completely innocent.

Although the text of the advertisement and the label of the formula do then include terms that are not permitted by the UK law, such as 'prebiotics' and 'immunofortis' idealizing claims. The labels has an idealizing image of a bear, that should not be permitted. The labels do not warn that powdered formula is not sterile and the simple steps required to reduce the risks. And so on.

So still a long way to go to persuade the enforcement authorities to act and the government review panel to strengthen the law.

You can help by making a donation to our UK project at:

Or through the Latch.On website. Many thanks for the donations so far there, we have nearly half way to reaching the target that will enable us to publish and publicise a report containing the evidence posted to this blog over the past few days, and more. See:

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