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)