Prosím, povedzte Nestlé, že umelé mlieko nechráni

Čo sa týka, presviedčania ľudí, tak v tomto nie som veľmi aktívna, ale snažím sa vyhýbať sa Nestlé produktom, poiaľ sa dá (lebo). Tentokrát však mám pocit, že treba o tom hovoriť.

Vec sa má tak, že Nestlé dáva na obaly logo “Protect” a šíri nepodložené tvrdenia o vlastnostiach umelého mlieka. Kontaktovala som ich prostredníctvom tejto stránky a poslala im e-mail:

Dear Dr. Gayle Crozier-Willi,

I am contacting you about Nestlé’s strategy of promoting baby milk around the world with the claim that it ‘protects’ babies and has health benefits, such as for ‘reducing diarrhea’. This is another shocking example of how Nestlé puts its own profits before the health and well-being of infants. As you well know, babies fed on baby milk are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, more likely to die. Your prominent logos and health claims undermine the obligatory ‘Breastfeeding is best for babies’ message. You have defended this practice, despite it being a clear violation of the World Health Assembly marketing standards.

Please contact me when you have decided to drop this promotional strategy. In the meantime, I will continue my efforts to persuade more friends and colleagues to boycott your company.

Dnes ráno som dostala odpoveď:

Dear Mrs Jancigova,

There is no question about breast-milk being the best start a baby can have in life. To emphasise this, the following statement, “Important notice: Breast-milk is best for babies. Before you decide to use an infant formula consult your doctor or clinic for advice”, appears on all our infant formula products. However, for infants who, for whatever reason, cannot be breastfed, it is critically important that a safe, high-quality alternative be made available.

Nestlé makes significant investments in R&D and technology to continuously deliver innovative products with scientifically proven nutritional benefits. We continue to make scientific and technical advances in the area of nutrition and we make sure that our infant formula products are “best in class” to meet as far as possible the nutritional requirements of non-breastfed babies.

The functional benefits that are encapsulated in the “Protect” logo are scientifically substantiated – the result of many years of intensive research on how best to improve the formula composition to stimulate the infant’s immune system. The logo helps distinguish this particular formula from other less advanced products but does not claim in any manner that infant formula is superior or equal to breast-milk.

Infant formula products are reviewed, registered and/or regulated by governments to ensure that consumers have technically precise and accurate information. In all countries where the “Protect” logo is used, it is consistent with the local legislative and regulatory framework.

For your information, the World Health Assembly does not formulate marketing standards – rather it makes health policy recommendations to Member States. It is up to each Member State to determine how it implements these policy recommendations in their own country, according to their development goals and their social and legislative framework.

We hope to have answered your concerns. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions.

Nemohla som si pomôcť a odpísala som naspäť:

Dear Dr Crozier-Willi,

I appreciate your response, but it doesn’t address all of my concerns.

Firstly, you write correctly that “Breast-milk is best for babies.” But on the formula cans, this statement is much less prominent than the Protect logo. And the thing is that breastmilk offers much more protection!

Also, independent experts disagree with your statement. For example, the authoritative Cochrane Library has said of Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (the DHA and ARA in the logo, which Nestlé claims aid brain and eye development): “This review found that feeding term infants with milk formula enriched with LCPUFA had no proven benefit regarding vision, cognition or physical growth.” And my concern is that Nestlé is promoting its false claims to health workers, in breach of Article 7.2 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, which states information should be limited to scientific and factual information.

I understand the point that you’re comparing Nestlé brand with other formula, but this should be clear on the label as well, because right now it gives the impression that you’re doing comparison to breastmilk.

Please contact me when you have decided to drop this promotional strategy. In the meantime, I will continue my efforts to persuade more friends and colleagues to boycott your company.

Je to márne? Možno. Ale ak na tom záleží dostatočne veľa ľuďom, možno spolu môžu niečo dosiahnuť. Prosím, napíšte Nestlé a povedzte im, aby neklamali.

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