Nestle Continues Reprehensible Infant Formula Actions

You have every right to be concerned about Nestle SA's recent purchase of Gerber Products, particularly in light of this alarming Guardian report about the underhanded marketing still being done to push their inferior baby formulas, along with other companies, to third-world mothers.

Even with a "code" ratified by the World Health Organization and in Bangladesh more than 20 years ago, international boycotts still remain in place because devious companies like Nestle have found loopholes that allow their products to be displayed anyway. In fact, in some cases, conglomerates appear to ignore the rules anyway.

Apparently, the source of the problem lies just where you expected it would, in the laps of pediatricians and pharmacists who are far too quick to suggest bottle-feeding whenever health problems arise in lieu of support or advice about breastfeeding. And, like their drug company counterparts in America, representatives of various formula companies are just as aggressive, and sometimes bring doctors small "gifts" (notebooks, pens and even a cake) along sheets detailing various products, knowing full well they are prohibited under the "code."

But that doesn't stop many health workers in Bangladesh from handing out product sheets to mothers -- some of whom may be illiterate -- or clinics from decorating their walls with posters of healthy-looking Caucasian babies stamped with the names of formula manufacturers that subtly undermine the worth of breastfeeding.

Just a reminder, breastfeeding is crucial to the long-term health of moms and kids. For whatever reason, if you cannot breastfeed, I urge you to review my infant formula protocol today and avoid infant soy formulas at all costs.

Guardian Unlimited May 15, 2007