Target: Multinational food companies Nestle and Danone
Goal: Stop misleading young mothers in developing countries into buying artificial baby formula for their infants when breastfeeding is both healthier and cheaper
International food giants Nestle and Danone, among others, continue to flout their own industry standards to avoid over-promoting artificial baby formula to young mothers. This comes at the expense of breastfeeding, which is usually safer and cheaper for young mothers. In many cases in poor countries, a large fraction of all available information regarding the choice of whether to breastfeed or use artificial formula comes from the industry itself. This represents a breach of the industry’s own guidelines.
Artificial baby formula is often mixed with unsanitary water and can threaten the health of young infants in developing countries. However, this risk tends to be downplayed by the major food companies whose financial interest is in selling more baby formula at the expense of natural breastfeeding.
International aid agencies have long been promoting breastfeeding among poor mothers for their children as a cheap and more importantly healthy way to nourish their young babies, but there is a widespread misconception in developing countries that artificial formula is healthier. This is driven in part by the industry’s failure to dispel this misconception.
Sign the petition below to demand that the food industry take the necessary steps to stop undermining natural breastfeeding in developing countries, for the health of infant babies.
Dear Nestle and Danone,
Despite your own industry guidelines regarding the promotion of artificial baby formulas in developing countries, your practices in promoting these formulas are in practice threatening the health of young infants. I am writing to ask that you re-evaluate your practices in developing countries with respect to the promotion of artificial baby formulas at the expense of breastfeeding.
As you know, natural breastfeeding is usually the healthier and cheaper option for young mothers. You have even adopted industry standards that support this line, but are now flouting these standards in the pursuit of increased market shares for your baby formula products.
Please do the right thing and stop undermining infant health in the developing world.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nuramima via Flickr