A representative of the Hipp baby food company was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 You and Yours programme on 5 November 2012, together with Dr. Helen Crawley of the First Steps Nutrition Trust (click here to listen again).
The discussion was about the refusal of Hipp to provide correct guidance on how to reconstitute its powdered infant formula. The facts, as Dr. Crawley explained, are clear. The Department of Health confirmed its guidance had not changed, despite Hipp claiming in the programme that it had been given permission to flout the guidance.
During International Nestle-Free Week 2012 (29 October - 4 November) people have been sending messages to Nestle about its systematic violations of baby milk marketing rules and signing a petition of solidarity with the people of the Philippines. A message of thanks has just been received from campaigners in the Philippines (see below).
Nestle-Free Week is a time for for people who boycott Nestlé over the way it pushes baby milk to do more to promote the boycott - and for those who don't boycott to give it a go.
Above: Gloria joined the successful campaign with her son Miguel in 2007. Mothers and babies need your help again. Please sign the petition of solidarity. This is helping bring attention to this issue - see, for example, this report in the Philippines on 23 October 2012.
UNICEF has published a report today called: "Preventing Disease and Saving Resources: the potential contribution of increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK".
UNICEF'S press release states: "The report findings show that for just five illnesses, moderate increases in breastfeeding would translate into cost savings for the NHS of £40 million and tens of thousands of fewer hospital admissions and GP consultations."
The September 2012 issue of Breastfeeding Briefs from the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) is on the theme of "Sleeping with the baby". It is guest edited by Dr Helen Ball who has researched and written extensively on this theme.
The British Journal of Midwifery has published a letter from Baby Milk Action after a member of its editorial board defended accepting infant formula advertising, which has been criticised by readers. Professor Lewis suggested that concerns about such advertising are due to "enmity and distrust" and suggested the priority should be on "resolving differences".
My letter is reproduced below.
The following is adapted from a comment I posted to the article: Dr Miriam Stoppard’s breastfeeding article is factually inaccurate and irresponsible, which appeared on The Independent blog, 21 August 2012.
Dr. Miriam Stoppard questioned the recommendation in the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding regarding exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. Dr. Miriam Stoppard is known to us from her being called in by Nestlé in 2008 to help push its anti-boycott strategy - see campaign blog.
Rachel's Dairy has been added to the Nestlé boycott list as it is now owned by Lactalis Nestlé Chilled Dairy (LNCD).
Wyeth is embarking on yet another national advertising campaign for its SMA formula.
This must be costing millions of pounds - a bill ultimately paid by those who buy formula.
The subvert below made me think about how much mark up there is on formula.
A new folder has been launched by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action for World Breastfeeding Week 1 - 7 August 2012.
It has the theme:
"Understanding the past, planning for the future - celebrating 10 years of WHO/UNICEF's Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding."
UK monitoring assistant
Baby Milk Action welcomes the reports it receives from members of the public and health workers about baby food marketing practices that may break the marketing rules. The best way to make these reports to us is via the Baby Feeding Law Group website: http://www.babyfeedinglawgroup.org.uk/
We are looking for an intern in the UK to help us process these reports and conduct some other monitoring activities over the next three months. This is a unpaid voluntary post. Details below.
Internship position - mainly via internet
One or two days per week for three months
Closing date: Monday 23 July 2012, 6 pm.