International news roundup

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The Revolving Door, WHO and the World Economic Forum

In Update 42 we reported our concern about the presence of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the International Advisory Council (IAC) of WHO’s new Global Network for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDnet). Peter Brabeck, Nestlé’s CEO, is on the Board of WEF.

NCDnet was masterminded by Janet Voûte, who, with no cooling off period, has moved from WHO to Nestlé as Vice-President responsible for global public affairs policies and strategies. We are not sure if WEF remains on the IAC. Other notable revolving door examples are Derek Yach - WHO’s Executive Director for Chronic Disease, now Pepsi-Co’s Senior Vice President, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, WHO’s Director General (1998-2003) who joined the Pepsi Blue Ribbon Advisory Board. See The Door Revolves Again. World Public Health Nutrition:


Philippines welfare solution?

IBFAN and the BFLG wrote to Mead Johnson (MJ) and the Philippine Government about Alactagrow for one-year olds and above. MJ’s promotions, labels and gifts (right) claim that Alactagrow boosts brain, bones and immunity. However, Alactagrow was deemed substandard by the FDA because of its low fat level and MJ distributors had to recall the product in September 2010. We are worried that MJ may pressure the Philippines Government for permission to donate the recalled cans to the Department of Social Welfare and Development!




  • Meanwhile a new Breastfeeding Bill - containing many loopholes - has been submitted to the Philippines Senate. See our website for details of how to help.
  • Mead Johnson in the US was forced to discontinue its chocolate flavoured Enfagrow Follow-on Milk in June after many complaints.


Beetles in Abbott formula

Abbott Laboratories waited a week after discovering beetle contamination before issuing a recall of 5 million units of Similac infant formula in September.

  • See IBFAN’s briefings on BPA in baby bottles and other contaminants:


UNICEF and the Pakistan flood

The dramatic pictures and stories illustrating flood-affected Pakistan prompted UNICEF to write to the Guardian:

”Unicef would like to express its concern about the potential impact of this story on the emergency response and the health and survival of young children in Pakistan – a concern shared by many other humanitarian agencies.....Bottle-feeding in Pakistan is now even more dangerous than it ever was. The 6 September article highlights the extremely poor conditions of sanitation and hygiene in Reza’s home: the sewage, flies everywhere, the filthy flood waters. How is Reza’s mother going to sterilise that bottle? In addition, donations of milk are likely to be fed – and pose most risk of diarrhoea, malnutrition and death – to the youngest and most vulnerable infants who could be breastfed.“


Indonesian Law

A new Indonesian law stipulates that anyone who stands in the way of babies being exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life will be fined and sentenced to up to a year in prison.


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