Press releases

WHO states that follow-up formula is not necessary and that marketing may mislead parents


WHO states that follow-up formula is not necessary and that marketing may mislead parents

Methodist Conference 2013 - members reminded of Nestlé boycott call, but no agreement to provide update on baby milk marketing practices

Press release 12 July 2013

Philippines protestThe Methodist Conference has responded to the latest debate about Nestlé's marketing of baby milk by adopting a text with the reminder that, "Methodist members may, through conscience, wish to maintain a consumer boycott of [Nestlé] products." 

Baby Milk Action welcomes this reminder and invites Church Members to support its campaign of solidarity with mothers in the Philippines (left) who are currently trying to stop Nestlé from weakening marketing regulations successfully defended a few years ago.

Calls at Conference for a review of a decision by the Church's Central Finance Board to invest in Nestlé were rejected as the Church's Joint Advisory Committee on the Ethics in Investment (JACEI) responded to a Memorial by claiming it was "regrettable" that violations of marketing requirements in a large company "may persist".

No reference was made in the JACEI response and its brief report to Conference of recent evidence from expert bodies of systematic and widespread violations by Nestlé. Baby Milk Action documented some of the omissions from the JACEI report in a press release prior to the Conference - see press release 3 July 2013. A Methodist Church Officer tweeted to Baby Milk Action from the Conference that many Methodists are employed by Nestlé, "so stop penalising our congregations".

Methodist Church committee presents selective report to Conference (4-11 July) to excuse million pound Nestlé investment

Press release 3 July 2013

The British Methodist Conference (4-11 July) will receive a report from the Church's Joint Advisory Committee on the Ethics in Investment (JACEI), which has been released to the media. This includes a paragraph on Nestlé, in which the Church holds a million pound investment (full text below - see page 179 of the report). Baby Milk Action, which promotes a boycott of Nestlé over its aggressive marketing of baby milk in violation of international minimum marketing standards, is highighting that the report ignores serious concerns raised about Nestlé's marketing during the period it covers. The JACEI report includes no update on criticisms of Nestlé in the areas of the marketing of breastmilk substitutes, labour and human rights abuses or the environment. There are no references to the recent reports produced by Save the Children, UNICEF Lao and others that document violations of the international baby milk marketing standards.

Philippines demonstrationMothers' campaign in the Philippines ignored

There is no mention in the JACEI report of the protests in the Philippines during 2012 and 2013 against the "Nestlé monster bill", which will remove prohibitions on aggressive marketing by formula companies if it is passed. Nestlé is leading the campaign for the weaker law to be adopted.

Conflicts of interest in FTSE4Good listing Nestlé

 The JACEI report praises Nestlé for being the first company to meet the breastmilk substitutes criteria to be included in the FTSE4Good ethical investment Index, yet there is a significant conflict of interest involved as the Church Central Finance Board (CFB), which decided to invest in Nestlé in 2007, sits on the FTSE4Good committee responsible for assessing Nestlé's baby milk marketing and advising on the criteria. The criteria were weakened in September 2010, paving the way for Nestlé's inclusion in March 2011. All other ethical investment funds that look to independent evidence on baby milk marketing (rather than company reports) exclude Nestlé.

Independent exposes Danone's formula marketing practices in Turkey

The Independent in the UK has a front-page story on Danone's marketing of Aptamil formula in Turkey, exposing how it misleads mothers and has misrepresented its relationship with UN bodies. See: 

Danone's campaign encourages mothers to question whether they are producing enough breastmilk for their babies and includes a website where they can calculate volumes. Television advertising promoted its Aptamil formula with claims such as: "Your baby needs at least 500ml milk per day. If your breast milk is not enough, give Aptamil formula to support your baby’s immune system."

Danone claimed its message was endorsed by WHO and UNICEF, but the Independent reports: "Both the WHO and Unicef have denied endorsing the campaign. The WHO said Danone did not have permission to use its logo and has written to the company asking it to remove its name within 14 days."

For Baby Milk Action and its partners in the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) this is just the tip of the iceberg as they document malpractice by Nestlé, Danone and other baby food companies around the world. 

IBFAN calls for review of nutrition programmes for malnourished children

IBFAN calls for a review of UN and other programmes using commercial Ready-to-use Therapeutic Foods and supplements following two new Cochrane reviews.

27th June 2013

Concerns for G8 - Don't forget controls on marketing


Concerns for  G8 - Don't forget controls on marketing


In the run up to the G8 Leaders summit meeting this  week, the International Baby Food Action(IBFAN) has been relieved that the baby food industry was excluded from the IF campaign. However  the rationale for this decision was not made clear or public.  Unless conflicts of interest are properly tackled and transparently  the whole push for 'partnerships' with corporations - alongside the emphasis on micronutrient interventions - will  end up as the  perfect cover for the food  industry's  top  strategic objective -  the expansion of the market for expensive and unsustainable ultra-processed foods.(1)   


Patti Rundall, CoChair of IBFAN and Policy Director of Baby Milk Action says: "People are  forgetting that breastmilk and real  family foods actually do contain essential nutrients.  All the evidence -  including the just published Lancet series - shows the critical importance of addressing poor infant and young child feeding practices, and especially breastfeeding in child survival and stunting.  But there's no point talking about breastfeeding and how marvellous it is, if you don't protect parents from misinformation  and understand how to ensure they get truly independent support.  This means bringing in laws to tie corporations down.  Not just controls on the marketing of  formulas for newborns, but also on the host of new formulas and products for older babies and children - which share the same branding and are all hyped up with claims of added micronutrients.  Bringing in truly effective marketing regulations is not something that sits well with the partnership approach. "

 IBFAN acknowledges that businesses  inevitably play an important role in development, and some may well have some good innovative ideas.   But every idea and offer of help should  be evaluated carefully for unintended consequences. Business should be brought into help only after health policies and directions are set. 

IBFAN has been working for many years at the Codex Alimentarius  Commission  to develop  global standards that are as strong as possible, so that at national level, governments can bring in legislation that ensures that ALL baby foods and formulas meet sound safety and nutrition standards and are responsibly marketed.




1 CLICK HERE for the Lancet's  Profits and pandemics: prevention of harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink industries which defines  'Ultra-processed products'  as foods are  "made from processed substances extracted or refined from whole foods—eg, oils, hydrogenated oils and fats, fl ours and starches, variants of sugar, and cheap parts or remnants of animal foods—with little or no whole foods".  


CLICK HERE for IBFAN's concerns about the Scaling Up nutrition Initiative.


CLICK HERE  for Baby Milk Action's  UPDATE 45 newsletter -  with many other stories including 

CLICK here for articles in the Observer 9.6.13   and HERE

CLICK Here for Guardian comment


CLICK HERE for the Crusade Against Hunger  in Mexico where Nestlé - the world biggest baby food company - is being asked to train 15,000 women to sell deserts while giving 'nutrition education' and Pepsi is creating a milk for mothers - which all almost certainly undermine confidence in breastfeeding.  (pages 6-7)   Also  CLICK HERE and HERE

New legislation in Kenya, South Africa and Cambodia controlling the marketing of products targeting young children (pages 14 &15)

IBFAN's concerns about Public Private Partnerships  in nutrition campaigns. (pages 23-26)

IBFAN's  World  Breastfeeding trends Initiative - outlining how to improve breastfeeding rates (pages 10-11) 

Latest news about Nestle and Danone and the company takeover of Social Media (pages 18-21)





Parents rights to independent informations - workshop in Ireland


Protecting Families: Mothers require accurate, independent information on infant feeding.

14th June 2013

European Parliament votes to ban idealised images and text on baby formulas

Oxford English Dictionary definition of idealize:  "regard or represent as perfect or better than in reality."

PRESS RELEASE: New jobs for Ronald and Tony!

New jobs for Ronald and Tony! 

See Press Release HERE:

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