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Nestlé boycott
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Nestlé baby milk scandal has grown up but not gone away

Nestlé boycotts spread from Switzerland and Britain to the US, where shareholder activism and court challenges against other milk companies — led by the Sisters of the Precious Blood, a religious order working under the umbrella of the Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility — achieved a fine balance between grassroots organising, legal process and catchy communication.

The campaigns attracted wide-spread support from medical professionals, health authorities and civil society in developing countries. So in , the UN World Health Assembly the governing body of the World Health Organisation recommended the adoption of an international code of conduct to govern the promotion and sale of breast milk substitutes.

Global regulation of consumer industries was — and remains — a threat to business. UN resolutions are "soft law" that have little direct effect, yet often lead to hard national enforcement.

Back then, Nestlé's response was that their critics should focus on doing something to improve unsafe water supplies, which contributed to the health problems associated with bottle feeding.

I spent 30 years doing just that in Mozambique, South Africa and elsewhere. So it was appropriate that water brought me together with Brabeck.

I don't like the way companies such as Nestlé promote bottled water, turning one of life's essentials into a brand that only the better-off can afford and undermining the value of public supplies in the process. But I have to acknowledge Brabeck's efforts to get business and governments to work together to manage and protect the world's vital water resources. However, for Nestlé and the rest of the global food industry, the baby milk scandal has grown up rather than gone away. The industry today stands accused of harming the health of whole nations, not just their babies.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has committed his own money to a campaign against unhealthy food, comparing this to his fight against the tobacco industry. What started as skirmish in the nursery is turning into full-scale war on many fronts.

While the diseases are now obesity, diabetes and heart disease, the issues about the food industry's responsibility remain the same: Children and young adults may get fat because they do not get enough exercise. But if they are offered and encouraged to "choose" super-saturated fat diets, dosed with excessive salt and drinks laced with multiple sugars, can the industries that produce and promote those products absolve themselves from the ugly outcomes?

Back in the s, the Swiss judge ruled to the contrary. It is now rivalled by Danone, the second biggest company, as a source of violations. Danone is targeted with the DanoNO campaign. See our briefing on Nestlé for examples of Nestlé marketing practices, with images, links and references.

Register with Baby Milk Action to receive email alerts. If you doubt that Nestlé is doing anything wrong, see the monitoring evidence in our Campaign for Ethical Marketing section. You can register your support for the boycott via our contact page. You can encourage organisations to endorse the Nestlé boycott.

See our sample resolution. It is important to tell Nestlé you are supporting the boycott — even if only for Nestlé-Free Week. If you would like to hold a meeting, why not order one of the films in our on-line Virtual Shop? Download our leaflet on why to boycott Fairtrade KitKat. You could ask people to send letters to Nestlé as part of our Campaign for Ethical Marketing.

If you would like to give a talk yourself you might like to download a powerpoint presentation and a short presentation to adapt for your own use the text has been checked to be legally accurate — please take care if adding information of your own. Click here for details. With a myspace blog, you can add the code directly.

With some blogs, you will have to add the link as a separate line. Simply add the URL:. Cut and paste the text below into the field for the html and the image will appear with a link to this page! Click here for an example. If you are supporting the boycott, please send an email to Nestlé. The Code covers infant formula and other milk products, foods and beverages, when marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable as a partial or total replacement of breast milk.

It bans the promotion of breast milk substitutes and gives health workers the responsibility for advising parents. It limits manufacturing companies to the provision of scientific and factual information to health workers and sets forth labeling requirements. In , boycott coordinators met with Nestlé, which agreed to implement the code, and the boycott was officially suspended. In IBFAN alleged that formula companies were flooding health facilities in the developing world with free and low-cost supplies, and the boycott was relaunched the following year.

Nestlé claimed in an anti-boycott advertisement that it markets infant formula "ethically and responsibly". The ASA found that Nestlé could not support this nor other claims in the face of evidence provided by the campaigning group Baby Milk Action. Nestlé declined an invitation to attend, claiming scheduling conflicts, although it sent a representative of the auditing company it had commissioned to produce a report on its Pakistan operation.

Alongside the boycott, campaigners work for implementation of the Code and Resolutions in legislation, and claim that 60 countries have now introduced laws implementing most or all of the provisions.

Some universities, colleges, and schools have banned the sale of Nestlé products from their shops and vending machines in the period since the revelations. Nestlé claims that it is in full compliance with the International Code. If we find that the Code has been deliberately violated, we take disciplinary action. In May , the debate over Nestlé's unethical marketing of infant formula was relaunched in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mark Thomas attempted to find evidence for claims against Nestlé and to speak to heads of the company. In one portion of the show he "received a tin of baby milk from Mozambique.

All instructions are in English. Portuguese is the official language. A article in The Guardian highlighted aggressive marketing practices by Nestlé in Bangladesh. The Council of Canadians , a social action organization, launched a boycott in September in response to the company outbidding a small town aiming to secure a long-term water supply through a local well, stressing the need for bottled water industry reform as the country battles drought and depletion of ground water reserves.

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Protecting breastfeeding – Protecting babies fed on formula