Friday, February 06, 2009

Guardian Diary reports on Nestlé misleading George Clooney

The Guardian has picked up on the launching of our esposé showing how Nestlé misled George Clooney about its baby food marketing practices. See today's Guardian Diary at:

The article reports: "The company insists that it adheres to the highest ethical standards and has been straight with Clooney in all respects."

They really don't care what they say!

Nestlé told Mr. Clooney that he could ignore Baby Milk Action’s evidence of ongoing pushing of baby milks, which undermines breastfeeding and harms infant health, on the grounds the Methodist Church had decided it was okay to invest. What it didn’t tell him was the rationale of the Church’s Central Finance Board:

“[The Joint Advisory Committee on the Ethics in Investment – JACEI] acknowledges and respects the work of organisations such as Baby Milk Action in highlighting the scandal of inappropriate marketing of breast milk substitutes. The way in which the CFB responds to such activities is to engage with company managements and seek change from within. These approaches should be seen as complementary strategies working to achieve a common aim.”

The Methodist Conference took the view:

“JACEI acknowledges the continuing concern with regard to some aspects of Nestlé’s interpretation of the International Code, the implementation of company guidelines and the transparency of the procedures for monitoring compliance. These concerns may cause some through conscience to maintain a consumer boycott of Nestlé products.”

Nestlé also gave Mr. Clooney an article written by a midwife and colleagues who had enjoyed an all-expenses-paid trip to Nestlé’s Swiss HQ. It neglected to mention that the lead author had worked with Nestlé prior to the visit or that Baby Milk Action was given a substantial right-to-reply to the article in the British Journal of Midwifery to highlight factual errors and misuse of references. Of course, Nestlé didn’t give Mr. Clooney our right-to-reply along with the article.

Nestlé is the worst of the baby food companies, not only in the way it puts its own profits before infant health and mothers’ rights, but in the dishonest means it uses to try to divert criticism. Mr. Clooney would be correct to feel he has been taken for a ride by Nestlé. Although he has not responded to our past communications, we hope he will look at the new exposé of Nestlé’s false claims, which is available to the public on our website, and take appropriate action. See:

Source documents regarding the Methodist Church are available via:

Analysis of the British Journal of Midwifery article is available at:

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