Saturday, June 9, 2012

Nestle now to break WHO code in Philippines, legally

Nestle is at it again. In April, they were able to buy their way to a 60% market share in China's "babyfood" market, to help decrease their already abismal breastfeeding rate. And now, they are attempting to make their way into the Philippines vi a "law" that their lobbiests are proposing to amend the "Executive Order 51 (1986) - known as the 'milk code' - and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (2007)" to allow for advertising of breast milk substitutes (they call it baby milk, but those chemicals are NOT milks, sorry!), contact women directly (which is against the WHO code for advertising breast milk substitutes, AND to "train" and sponsor health care workers.

In the Philippines, logos on Nestle's formula has an explanation that misleads women saying it helps brain development. They are clearly lying, misleading and causing damage. This must be stopped. CLICK here to sign a petition. This will help protect families from malicious and against WHO code marketing.

Basically Nestle and other formula companies want into the Philippines becomes a lot of women there DO breastfeed, even though they've already done damage. Perhaps they'd like to be in Philippines like they are in Thailand, where only 5.4 percent of women are breastfeeding their babies.

From Baby Milk Action,the latest... this is relevant NOW. 

Press release 23 April 2012: Nestle purchase of Pfizer's SMA and other baby milk brands bad news for babies
Press release 19 April 2012: NestlĂ© Chairman rejects proposals from boycott coordinators at company AGM

Breastfeeding Rates in Philippines. 

According to Unicef:
Data point                                                             Percent
Early initiation of breastfeeding (%), (2006-2010*)
% of children (2006-2010*) who are: exclusively breastfed, (<6 months)
% of children (2006-2010*) who are: introduced to solid, semi-solid or soft foods, (6-8 months)
% of children (2006-2010*) who are: breastfed at age 2, (20-23 months)

 Basically, Philippines is doing decently well, no thanks to the action Nestle has already taken over the past 5 years - The people of the Philippines do not need Nestle's assistance in misleading families and harming babies. While most people in the Philippines have access to clean water, not all do. When you mix already substandard nutrition (ie, formula) with unclean water, a baby's health and life is at risk. It also is harmful when a mother cannot afford formula - it ends being watered down and not enough calories or nutrition is given. Women are able to breastfeed for free. Causing a mother who would otherwise breastfeed to change over due to marketing tactics with misleading and blatant lies is NOT okay.

Please, if you know anyone in the Philippines, let them know what Nestle is trying to do. Urge them to help protect mothers and their babies.

What should we do?

First, consider boycotting Nestle. A petition was set up online to help prevent a potential atrocity from occurring. According to the group putting together the petition:

  • According to the World Health Organisation 16,000 babies die every year in the Philippines due to inappropriate feeding. Companies make untrue claims implying that formula protects babies and boosts intelligence, while failing to provide adequate information on the risks to babies fed on formula or how to reduce the risks to babies who have to be fed on formula.

  • We call for the rights of mothers, babies and their families in the Philippines to be protected by strengthening the regulations, not weakening them. We call for legislators to fully implement the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly.
 Research shows that advertising of formula is bad for women - it causes women to stop breastfeeding and Nestle knows it. But we also know that, "Infant mortality and morbidity risk is linked to formula usage. The proportion of Filipino infant formula users rose 6% between 2003 and 2008. It is hypothesized this rise resulted from aggressive formula industry marketing." (Sobel, et al, 2011)

Advertising works, but not necessarily for the better.

1 comment:

Amanda McMahon said...