IBFAN press release
"Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules" Babies before Business
Media coverage: Reuters
Ms. Annelies ALLAIN
Director, International Code Documentation Center, IBFAN, Malaysia
Mr. Mike Brady
Campaigns coordinator, Baby Milk Action, IBFAN, United Kingdom
Thursday, May 12th 2011 at 13h.
« La Pastorale » Route de Ferney 106, Genève
Click here for a film clip of the opening presentations.
The annual total baby food market exceeds US$31 billion according to global marketing reports. Double-digit growth is forecast for several regions and global sales are expected to reach up to US$42.7 billion by 2013. Hence the pressure to increase market share is intense.
Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2010 is a new 208-page IBFAN report that details the latest marketing strategies used by the 11 major baby food manufacturers and exposes violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions over the three years from Oct 2007 to Oct 2010. In May 2010, the World Health Assembly called on companies to meet their obligations with respect to the Code and on governments to act to protect their citizens from practices that undermine breastfeeding and put babies fed on formula at risk. Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2010 provides up-to-date evidence that action is urgently needed.
Independent monitors from over 46 countries contributed evidence showing that breastfeeding still faces multi-million dollar competition from baby food companies using new ways to promote their products, such as basing marketing campaigns on added ingredients, even when these have no proven benefit.
The evidence was compiled, checked and legally analysed by the International Code Documentation Centre (ICDC) based in Penang, Malaysia. ICDC is part of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). Each company’s violations are presented along with an updated company profile. IBFAN-ICDC produces global monitoring reports about every three years. It also publishes country and regional reports.
“This report is different from previous reports in that it analyses trends in marketing. While our work on regulations and grassroots campaigns has stopped some practices, the report shows that health and nutrition claims are now the key marketing strategy that needs to be tackled. Companies are using the most extraordinary and bizarre claims to suggest that their new ingredients provide functional benefits that are essential to child health. As markets become saturated this is a cynical attempt to ‘add value’ and increase profits.”
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