Protecting breastfeeding – Protecting babies fed on formula
In May , Food Safety Regulators from the Uttar Pradesh , India found that samples of Nestlé's leading noodles Maggi had up to 17 times beyond permissible safe limits of lead in addition to monosodium glutamate. Aerial view of Nestlé's corporate headquarters building in Vevey , Vaud , Switzerland. As director general of South Africa's Department of Water Affairs, he designed and led a programme that has brought safe water to over 16 million people since This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. The children are usually 12 to 15 years old, and some are trafficked from nearby countries. Music festivals On 5 August , Nestlé and the Beijing Music Festival signed an agreement to extend by three years Nestlé's sponsorship of this international music festival. Archived from the original on 8 February It limits manufacturing companies to the provision of scientific and factual information to health workers and sets forth labeling requirements.
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Back in the s, the Swiss judge ruled to the contrary. Today public and political opinion is again swinging in that direction. Important questions are being raised in discussions about the new global development goals to be adopted when the UN's current Millennium Development Goals 'expire' in Should sustainable development goals focus on the unsustainable and unhealthy lifestyles of the rich as well as on the plight and basic needs of the poor?
As the world searches for better measures of development than gross domestic product GDP , counting dead babies remains an important indicator. But if infant mortality was a stark indicator of poor infant feeding practices in the s, gross obesity is a parallel indicator of poor nutrition today.
And action to control the products and marketing of large food companies are an obvious means to improve people's health. So the spectre of global regulation still looms, an existential issue for the global food companies. But there will need to be more explicit codes of practice and the political will to enforce them if shareholder action is to be effective. If global companies are to produce and promote healthier food and treat their suppliers more fairly and remain market leaders, such standards must also be enforced or cheap unregulated competition will inevitably undermine those who comply.
Critics of the global food business also face challenges. Realists know that a return to a bucolic world of trusted small-scale local food production cannot meet the needs of seven billion people today and more tomorrow. But should activists build on existing regulatory platforms by raising the bar, setting new standards and mobilising shareholders to promote a more responsible and accountable global food industry?
Or should they take a more aggressive approach to monitoring and acting directly against damaging behaviour? We will probably see a mix of both strategies, making the food business a challenging place to be over the next few years.
Back in Davos, my dedication to Brabeck was simple. Reading the Baby Killer report today showed that we had made progress since the s, I said. I thanked him for his support on the global water agenda, and I meant it. Of course there are many places around the world where Nestlé's operations are challenged by workers and communities, for many valid reasons.
But in an imperfect world, at least some of the immediate issues are now on the table for public discussion and he has helped to put them there. I could perhaps have added the Mozambican adaptation of that old revolutionary slogan: But, however accurate, that would have spoilt the moment.
Mike Muller is an engineer, writer and development specialist. Currently a member of South Africa's National Planning Commission , he is also a visiting professor of public and development management at the University of the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. As director general of South Africa's Department of Water Affairs, he designed and led a programme that has brought safe water to over 16 million people since This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional.
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According the the World Health Organisation WHO improving breastfeeding practices could prevent , child deaths every year. Despite this Nestlé continues to push its baby milks in breach of international standards. Nestlé is the largest of the baby milk companies. Monitoring by groups on the ground around the world shows Nestlé systematically violates the marketing requirements and drives down standards for the industry as a whole. The boycott has forced some changes from the company, but it is still a long way from complying.
Campaigners are also working for laws. Nestlé can comply when it is given no choice. You can find out more information and look at the evidence yourself on the Baby Milk Action website at:.
It is important to tell Nestlé you will be boycotting it until it accepts and acts on the plan put to it by boycott groups for saving infant lives.
For further information on what has been achieved thanks to pressure from the boycott and why it continues to be important, click here. If you would like leaflets and petition sheets in quantity, contact us. Find out more by reading our year report. You can help this work further by becoming a member of Baby Milk Action.