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Published by Chaitanya Prankstar

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Published by: Chaitanya Prankstar on Sep 14, 2010
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Nestlé holds about 50% of the world's breast milk substitute market and isbeing boycotted for continued breaches of the 1981 WHO Code regulatingthe marketing of breast milk substitutes.Nestlé encourages bottle feeding primarily by either giving away free samplesof baby milk to hospitals, or neglecting to collect payments. It has beencriticised for misinforming mothers and health workers in promotionalliterature. Nestlé implies that malnourished mothers, and mothers of twinsand premature babies are unable to breastfeed, despite health organisationsclaims that there is no evidence to support this.Evidence of direct advertising to mothers has been found in over twentycountries such as South Africa and Thailand. Instructions and healthwarnings on packaging are often either absent, not prominently displayed orin an inappropriate language. All of these actions directly contravene theCode regulating the marketing of baby milk formulas.Even in the UK, bottle-fed babies are up to ten times more likely to developgastro intestinal infections, but in the Third World, where clean water maybe absent, mothers may be illiterate and independent health care and advicemay be lacking, bottle feeding can be more dangerous. This can lead to asituation where bavies are left vulnerable to dysentery, malnutrition anddeath, and Nestle is able to retain its estimated $4 billion market share inthe baby-milk industry.Exploiting employeesIn 1989 workers at a Nestlé chocolate plant in Cacapava, Brazil went onstrike. The wprkers compained of poor working conditions, includingdiscrimination against women, lack of protective clothing and inadequatesafety condition. Within two months of the beginning of the stike thecompany had sacked forty of its workers, including most of the strikeorganisers.
Supporting brutal / repressive regimesNestlé has subsidiaries in Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador,Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Papua New Guinea,the Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Turkey. The company also hassubsidaries in South Africa which it owned during the Apartheid year.L'Oréal adds Peru and Morocco to the list.Abusing animalsNestlé own nearly 50% of the cosmetics company L'Oreal. L'Oreal wassubject to boycott calls from animal rights groups including PeTA because ofits animal testing policy. Since then L'Oreal has claimed that it no longertests finished products on animals. This statement is obviously intended tomislead since finished products do not require further testing and it impliesthat the ingredients are certainly still subject to tests. Some groups calledoff the boycott in response to L'Oreals' claims, however there areindividuals and organisations who continue the boycott and L'Oreal continuesto test on animals.Nestlé itself manufactures products containing meat and has been critised byBUAV for testing its coffee's carcinogenicity on mice.The baby milk issue
Groups such as theInternational Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), and Save the Childrenclaim that the promotion of infant formula over breast-feeding has led to health problems and deaths amonginfants in less economically developed countries.[3][4]There are four problems that can arise when  poor mothers in developing countries switch to formula:
Formula must normally be mixed with water, which is often contaminated in poor countries,leading to disease in vulnerable infants.[5]Because of the high illiteracy rates in developingnations many mothers are not aware of the sanitation methods needed in the preparation of  bottles. Even mothers able to read in their native tongue may be unable to read the language inwhich sterilization directions are written.
Even mothers that can understand the sanitation standards required often do not have the meansto perform it: fuel to boil water, electric (or other reliable) light to enable sterilisation at night.UNICEFestimates that a non-breastfed child living in disease-ridden and unhygienic conditionsis between six and 25 times more likely to die of diarrheaand four times more likely to die of  pneumoniathan a breastfed child.[6] 
Many poor mothers use less formula powder than is necessary, in order to make a container of formula last longer. As a result, some infants receive inadequatenutrition from weak solutions of formula.[7] 
Breast milk has many natural benefits lacking in formula. Nutrientsandantibodiesare passed to the baby whilehormonesare released into the mother's body.[8]Breast-fed babies are protected, in varying degrees, from a number of illnesses, including diarrhea, bacterial meningitis,  gastroenteritis,ear infection, andrespiratory infection.[9][10][11]Breast milk contains the right amount of the nutrients that are essential for neuronal(brain and nerve) development.[12] The  bond between baby and mother can be strengthened during breastfeeding.[10]Frequent andexclusive breastfeeding can alsodelay the return of fertility,which can help women in developing countries to space their births.[13]TheWorld Health Organization recommends that, in the majority of cases, babies should be exclusively breast fed for the first six months.[14] Advocacy groups and charities have accused Nestlé of unethical methods of promoting infant formulaover breast-milk to poor mothers in developing countries.[15][16]For example, IBFAN claim that  Nestlé supports the distribution of free powdered formula samples to hospitals and maternity wards;after leaving the hospital, the formula is no longer free, but because the supplementation has interferedwith lactation the family must continue to buy the formula. IBFAN also allege that Nestlé uses"humanitarian aid" to create markets, does not label its products in a language appropriate to thecountry where they are sold, and offers gifts and sponsorship to influence health workers to promote its products.[17]Nestlé denies these allegations.[18]
[edit] History of the boycott
 Nestlé's perceived marketing strategy was first written about in
 New Internationalist 
magazine in1973 and in a booklet called
The Baby Killer 
, published by the British non-governmental organizationWar On Want in 1974. Nestlé attempted to sue the publisher of a German-language translation (Third WorldAction Group) for libel. After a two-year trial, the court found in favour of Nestlé because they couldnot be held responsible for the infant deaths 'in terms of criminal law'. [19]However, because the Defendants were only fined 300 Swiss Francs, and that Judge Jürg Sollberger commented that Nestlé"must modify its publicity methods fundamentally", TIMEmagazine declared this a "moral victory" for  the defendants. [20]The widespread publicity led to the launch of the boycott inMinneapolis, USA,by theInfant Formula Action Coalition(INFACT) and this boycott soon spread to Australia, Canada,  New Zealand, and Europe. In May 1978, the US Senate held a public hearing into the promotion of breast-milk substitutes in developing countries and joined calls for a Marketing Code. In1979,WHO and UNICEF hosted an international meeting which called for the development of an international code of marketing, as wellas action on other fronts to improve infant and young child feeding practices. The International BabyFood Action Network (IBFAN) was formed by six of the campaigning groups at this meeting.[16]In1981, the 34th World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted Resolution WHA34.22 which includes theInternational Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The Code covers infant formula and other milk products, foods and beverages, when marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable as a partialor total replacement of breast-milk. It bans the promotion of breast-milk substitutes and gives healthworkers the responsibility of advising parents. It limits manufacturing companies to the provision of scientific and factual information to health workers and sets out labeling requirements.[21]In1984, boycott coordinators met with Nestlé, which agreed to implement the code, and the boycott

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