Campaign blog

Midwives should tell Danone to keep its ill-gotten Aptamil loot

We are receiving many outraged reports from people who have seen that Danone is offering midwives grants of up to £1,000 from a fund of £20,000. This sponsorship is branded with the Danone formula name and logo, Aptamil (Danone is also behind the Nutricia, Milupa and Cow & Gate formula brands).

The money is being handled by the charity Tommy's.  I would say Danone is using the charity to 'launder' the money in an attempt to make it more acceptable.

Ask UN Secretary General to protect mothers and babies on 22 September


Dear Friend,

Globally 3.6 million Infants die before they reach their first birthday and millions are malnourished because of inadequate and inappropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices.

Most effective interventions to save babies’ lives and prevent malnutrition is to enhance early and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and good complementary feeding thereafter along with continued breastfeeding.  For this, women needed to be supported.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki- moon will launch the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health at a special event during the MDG Summit in New York on 22nd  September.

Let's call upon the UN Secretary General to ensure support to women. 

Ulverston Breastfeeding Festival

The First Ulverston Breastfeeding Festival (16 - 22 August) was a thoroughly enjoyable event and one that deserves to grow. The town of Ulverston, close to the coast on the south side of the Lake District, is a delightful setting. I spoke on Friday in the Parish Church Hall, after a showing of the UNICEF Philippines film, Formula for Disaster. Many thanks to Jo Dawson for the invitation and for the hard work she put in with help from friends and family to make the event a reality. I really hope it becomes part of the calendar and inspires others in the UK and elsewhere.

There are links to the film and some of the information included in my presentation below, along with other news from the festival. My weekend at the festival was an opportunity to encourage people to email Nestlé over its latest baby milk marketing strategy (it is claiming its formula 'protects' babies, despite the fact that babies fed on formula are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, more likely to die). Before reading on, take a minute to email Nestlé by clicking here (will open in a new window).

Campaign to Simplify the UK Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations

The newly formed coalition Government in the UK has prioritised cutting public expenditure and the deficit and has also launched a campaign to scrap or amend unnecessary or ineffective legislation. The public are being invited to submit suggestions. 

Baby Milk Action is suggesting the Government simplify the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations. Currently advertising and promotion of infant formula is prohibited, but follow-on formula can be advertised, a double standard with financial and health implications. In addition, the information on infant formula is regulated, but companies can make claims about health benefits on follow-on formula labels with impunity. Bringing follow-on formula within the same restrictions as infant formula will protect breastfeeding and babies fed on formula.  You can support this suggestion by clicking on the 5th star under the heading 'Add a Rating' and leaving comments on the Government website - click here.

Virgin London Marathon keeps sponsorship policy confidential - but welcomes Nestle back for 2011

Nestlé sponsored the London Marathon in 2010 with its controversial Pure Life brand of bottled water. Only Nestlé water was available, creating a dilemma for runners who support the Nestlé boycott over its pushing of baby milk, who had to break their personal boycott or put their health at risk. 

Nestlé is the most boycotted company in the UK. Baby Milk Action asked the Virgin London Marathon for its sponsorship policy and a public statement on Nestlé's sponsorship.

We have been told:

"Nestle will continue as one of the sponsors to the Virgin London Marathon next year (2011).

"The London Marathon’s sponsorship policy is confidential to the organisation of the event including the Race Director, CEO, Board of Directors and Trustees."

What's the real 'Gold Standard' in infant nutrition, Paul?

Nestlé is promoting its breastmilk substitutes with the claim they are, 'The new "Gold Standard" in infant nutrition' (June 2010). What does Paul the psychic octopus, who predicted the World Cup winners, think is the real gold standard?

Image by a supporter of Baby Milk Action's 'email Nestle' campaign:

Briefing on Nestle - updated January 2013

Mothers and babies need you to keep up the pressure on Nestlé now more than ever - look at what it is really doing.

Briefing paper - updated 29 January 2013

United Reformed Church Assembly 2010 presents opportunity to expose Nestlé malpractice

Media coverage: Ekklesia 1 July 2010

We have just learned that the forthcoming Assembly of the United Reformed Church (4 July) presents an ideal opportunity to put pressure on Nestlé to stop its systematic violations of the World Health Assembly's marketing requirements for baby foods. If you will be attending the Assembly, please look at the up-to-date information in this site, particularly concerning Nestlé's current global baby milk marketing scam. Nestlé is claiming its baby milk 'protects' babies even though it knows babies fed on it are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, more likely to die. Contact me if you would like to discuss this further. Nestlé puts its profits before all else and the changes we have compelled it to make have come from exposure, and the public backing the boycott and telling Nestlé they are doing so.

We want Nestle out of the London Marathon - Facebook campaign

Nestle is sponsoring the London Marathon with its controversial Pure Life brand of bottled water. The next London Marathon will take place on 17 April 2011. If you would like there to be alternative supplies, you can join the Facebook group: "We want Nestlé out of the London Marathon". See: 

Nestle sponsorship of BlogHer Conference starts to go wrong for most-boycotted company

The Nestlé boycott works its magic again as sponsorship of the BlogHer conference by its Stouffer brand comes under scrutiny. The Conference is due to take place in New York in the United States (6 - 7 August). Ironically, this came to my attention by a posting on a blog by someone defending her decision to attend Nestlé's parenting-blogger event in California in October 2009, which led to a first-class public relations disaster on Twitter, the social networking site. Nestlé has an abysmal image in cyberspace and is trying to improve this. As debate rages over whether bloggers should attend the Conference and what they can do there to support the campaign if they do, some thoughts come to my mind, which I will share here. It is very welcome to see people taking a stand, but the fact that Nestlé is contributing to the unnecessary death and suffering of babies around the world is an uncomfortable fact to face if you are someone who loves a particular product or want to accept its largesse. Accordingly, facing the facts is generally avoided in the arguments for not taking a stand.

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