Monday, October 11, 2010

Breastfeeding or using formula, International Nestlé-Free Week needs your support

It is International Nestlé-Free Week at the end of October. Our press release can be found at:

I saw a comment on one discussion board where someone had posted a link: "sorry .. but some people cant breast feed .. so making people feel guilty because they cant .. no thanks ..."

I posted the following comment:

I have joined this forum to leave a comment from Baby Milk Action. Our slogan is 'Protecting breastfeeding - Protecting babies fed on formula' and we do NOT work to stop people having access to formula or to stop Nestlé or any other company from selling it. There is no intention to make mothers feel guilty over how they feed their children. It is a mother's decision.

The demand is simple: for Nestlé to market its products in accordance with the international marketing standards adopted by the World Health Assembly. These are very clear in their purpose: "to contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants, by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding, and by ensuring the proper use of breastmilk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution."

As we show on our site with reference to Nestlé's own materials it both undermines breastfeeding with untrue claims about its formula and refuses to provide information for those who use formula with information on how to reduce the risks. Powdered formula is not sterile and Nestlé does not want to admit this on labels because doing so would undermine its claims that its formula protects babies and may harm its sales - Nestlé cares about profit above all else, hence the need to hit it in the pocket with the boycott to force changes.

Powdered formula sold in the UK does warn on labels that it is not sterile and the instructions include the step required to kill any possible harmful bacteria in the powder. If companies are not forced to include this information, they hide it. The information on how to mix up formula to reduce risks is available from the World Health Organisation and the UK Department of Health.

So whether breastfeeding or using formula, we hope everyone agrees that babies have a right to protection and mothers have a right to accurate information. Supporting International Nestlé-Free Week is a way to help achieve that.

Find out more on the press release, including how to send a message to Nestlé and join the Facebook group.

1 comment:

Rob A said...

Just been into M&S and seen loads of Nestlé products on the shelves. Shame.