Update 43: Health claims fuel the formula market - but, Nestlé admits 'no proven benefits' from added ingredients

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Update 43 and Nestlé boycott news  Health claims fuel the formula market - but, Nestlé admits 'no proven benefits' from added ingredients



Baby Milk Action’s latest newsletter is enclosed and is available on-line at www.babymilkaction.org with links to supporting documents and hi-resolution images. 

Top stories.


EU Deadline on Health Claims:  Following secret meetings in Brussels, a claim that implies that follow-on milks and baby foods  will improve babies’ eyesight has jumped two bureaucratic hurdles and may soon be officially authorised as legal by the European Union – even though there is no  independent evidence to support it.  Health bodies are calling on Members of the European Parliament  to oppose the claims before the final deadline of 6th of March (pg 11).


World Health Assembly adopts two landmark Resolutions calling for restrictions on the promotion of junk foods and baby foods. Twenty nine years after the adoption of the landmark International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, the new Resolutions could have a long-lasting impact on child health.  WHA Resolution 63.23 calls for tough action on health and nutrition claims and other inappropriate promotions of baby formulas and foods (pg 6).


Breaking the Rules – Stretching the Rules 2010 (BTR) published: A new three-year report from over 46 countries shows how the multi-million dollar baby food industry misleads parents and breaks the International Code and its subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions. Unlike industry-funded analyses, BTR looks at real labels and promotion - not just what companies SAY they do. A must for anyone wishing to understand how marketing undermines infant health (pg 9).


Nestlé has at last admitted that optional ingredients added to its formula are of ‘no proven benefit’ - but it still refuses to stop the global marketing strategy based upon them. Nestle is the global market leader, more so since taking over Gerber, and sets trends others follow (pg 14).


A ‘root-and-branch’ review of marketing practices promised by Danone after buying the Nutricia, Milupa and Cow & Gate brands has not improved the situation. Danone, now second in the global baby food market, is likely to find itself the target of a consumer boycott if changes are not made (pg 13).


Building Trust through Education Update 43 shows how the companies are increasingly using ‘education’ and breastfeeding promotion as a way of presenting themselves as trustworthy agents for health and development who do not need to be regulated (pg 12, 13 & 18).


Formula Explained - new DVD produced by the Baby Feeding Law Group (BFLG) provides evidence-based, independent information about infant formula from experts from the Royal  College of Paediatrics and Child Health and other member organisations (pg 10).


The WBTi State of Breastfeeding in 33 Countries report is packed with useful charts showing how policy gaps are leading to babies missing out on their foundation for development and protection from disease. Millions of newborns in the 3 continents studied are still not receiving any breastmilk at all and fewer still are breastfed for six months of life (pg 8)


UK Health bodies says NO to corporate funding and influence in infant feeding. The Baby Feeding Law Group and the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition (BMC)  - representing over 40 health professional and lay organisations - including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Midwives is calling on the Department of Health to ensure that infant feeding, food, tobacco and alcohol companies and any company targeting families are not  allowed to sponsor infant feeding information. The  Royal College of Midwives – a key member of the two coalitions - drops formula adverts from their journal (pg 4).


Web: www.babymilkaction.org Contact mikebrady@babymilkaction.org Tel: 07986 736179  Patti Rundall: 07786 523493