Take a look behind the scenes of Baby Milk Action by following the blog of Patti Rundall OBE, Policy Director.
Summaries of stories are given here. Click on the titles for the full posting.
Photo Opportunity: WHO Geneva Monday 20th May
Marketing junkfood to children : two familiar figures visit the World Health Assembly - Ronald McDonald and Tony the Tiger look for new jobs
World Health Organization from 8-8.30am and outside the Palais des Nations from 9-10am on Monday 20th May.
CLICK HERE for PDF of Consumers International Press release
CLICK HERE for World Public Health Nutrition Weblink.
Friday 29 March 2013 was the last day for public comments on the 4th draft of WHO's Global Action Plan for the prevention and Control of NCDs (2013-2020)
Today is the last day for comments on the Public web consultation on WHO’s engagement with non-State actors.
Here are some Links to background papers that may be useful:
Some other items that may be of interest:
United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights States, business, civil society and other stakeholders can submit suggestions for the 2013 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights.
Submissions may be sent to email@example.com by 12 April 2013.
Below is an excerpt from an excellent article in Today's Guardian about baby food companies in Indonesia:
If you agree that breastfeeding should be specifically mentioned in the next Millennium Development Goals please make a submission - however short - to an online consultation that ends 10th January. Follow this link Contributions can be posted on the consultation website(www.fao.org/fsnforum/post-2015) or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and are welcome in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.
IBFAN's submission is HERE
STOP PRESS: We understand that this research is to stop. Thanks to all those who supported this campaign
Please help stop the industry funded research about to start in Indonesia entitled "Effect in Using Formula Composed with Cow's Milk Fat, Enriched with Mixed Fats & Added Fosfolipid on Duration & Infection in Babies' Digestive and Respiratory System"
IBFAN has written to the Her Excellency, Dilma Roussef, DD President of Brazil, about the Regulation of Law 11265/2006 which protects infants from the unethical commercial promotion of products that undermine breastfeeding practices.
The link to one of the letters is HERE
The interesting article in the Guardian about the tour of the Nestle ship is HERE
Join the ongoing discussion in the BMJ about Veena Rao's personal opinion piece entitled, "Law on infant foods inhibits the marketing of complementary foods for infants, furthering undernutrition in India" click HERE Following our complaint the BMJ has published the following correction: "In this online Personal View (10.1136/bmj.e8131) the author, Veena Rao, did not declare any competing interests. She has now told us that she has been “a member of the Advisory Board on the Britannia Nutrition Foundation (a non-profit trust) since 2009.” The website of the foundation is at www.britannia.co.in/bnf/index.html. 2012;345:e8131, doi:Ms Rao has submitted a further comment but fails to mention that Britannia Nutrition Foundation is funded by Brittania Industries Ltd.
IBFAN's Discussion Paper on the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative - outlining our concerns about the role of businesses and why we cannot be part of SUN has been posted onto the SUN wesbite here just above a link to the launch of the SUN Business network
Cross Branding - how this can harm infant and young child health
A BMJ study looked at the impact of idealised images and cross branding (in this case Nestlé's Mother and Baby bear logo on coffee creamer ) in LAOS one of the world's poorest countries. It s relevant and pertinent to the ongoing discussions in Codex.
I have been attending an EU Food Law meeting this week on The Revision of the PARNUTs Directive - it was attended by all the major companies.
The Infant Feeding Survey (IFS) has been conducted every five years since 1975. The 2010 IFS was the eighth national survey of infant feeding practices to be conducted. The main aim of the survey was to provide estimates on the incidence, prevalence, and duration of breastfeeding and other feeding practices adopted by mothers in the first eight to ten months after their baby was born.
IBFAN recommendations for strengthening the Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on food intended for infants and young children and on food for special medical purposes
Nice story sent by Siti Norjinah Moin, Founder of the Malaysian Breastfeeding Association. Director of Breastfeeding Information Bureau (BIB Malaysia).
I gave four presentations at this marvellous nutrition conference - which was the first of its kind to be free of corporate funding - and it showed.
Andy Chetley dies Wednesday 17th October 2012
‘Preventing disease and saving resources: the potential contribution of increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK’
Food, beverage industry pays for seat at health-policy table
Click here for the Reuters report on WHO that has generated a flurry of responses - page down
Fringe meetings at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester 1st - 3rd October
Responses to WHO consultation: Updated Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases - 2013-2020
IBFAN's response is here:
The World Cancer Research Fund response is here:
WHY IBFAN HAS NOT SIGNED ON CIVIL SOCIETY PLEDGE OF ‘A RENEWED PROMISE’ INITIATIVE
Sunday 12th August 2012 - World Leader Summit on hunger - hosted by David Cameron
'Challenges for Mother and Child Health: perspectives from Southern Africa' ,
All are welcome to the Prof Zef Ebrahim Memorial Lecture on Wednesday 3rd October 2012 at 12 noon in the Kennedy Lecture Theatre, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London. The talk will be given in Zef's honour by one of his ex-students, Dr Felicitas Zawairi, now WHO Representative in Malawi.
Zef work has been of critical importance to IBFAN and Baby Milk Action since the 70s and we miss him terribly. (More to follow)
For Zef's Obituary in the Guardian see:
The 65th World Health Assembly passed an important Resolution on Maternal, infant and young child nutrition.
For Press release see: http://info.babymilkaction.org/IYCNResolution2012
The proposed text is attached as a pdf. This was adopted today.
For further details contact Patti Rundall, Baby Milk Action Policy Director on: 07786 523493
This front cover of TIME magazine has generated huge debate....
A national campaign against obesity spreads to South Florida in an effort to stop hospitals from giving free formula to new moms.....
see our press release on this worrying news.
Here are some links to a brand new video “All about IBFAN” on youtube
NEW PDF: ENGLISH TEXT
Did you know that it is against the rules for television programmes to accept payment for showing baby milk in television programmes?
The Business of malnutrition: breaking down trade rules to profit from the poor
Click here for the press release following this meeting:
Day 1 - Saturday 12 November
I am attending the Codex meeting in Bad Soden, Frankfurt this week, wearing the IACFO hat, along with IBFAN colleagues from Swaziland, Canada and Luxembourg. See below for our comments on the agenda items.
At the last meeting of the European Platform for Diet and Physical Activity, on the 6th October in Brussels, Mars, Media Smart and others gave presentations about their nutrition and media education projects.
Urgent call for pre-authorisation of baby food ingredients
IBFAN Comments on UN Political Declaration on Non-communicable Diseases
Voluntary controls fail to reduce harmful advertising
Call for endorsement of IBFAN’s comments on Children's Rights and Business Principles Initiative (CRBPI)
Statement delivered by Lida Lhotska, IBFAN European Coordinator
SEE ATTACHED BRIEFING
See this awful paper from the Scottish Government, Principles for food companies working with schools in Scotland which seems to contain absolutely no principles:
Dr Nicholas Alipui, Director of Programme at UNICEF HQ in New york has responded to a request from an MEP for an opinion on the DHA claim.
"a butterfly flapping it's wings in one area of the world, can cause a tornado in another part of the world"
Here is a really important development
Please see all the links to the relevant papers here:
The whole Resolution is attached. The key paragraphs (J-S and 1-3) are on pages 4 and 5:
Patti Rundall, Baby Milk Action Policy Director, on the BBC Politics Show East Midlands on 13 February 2010.
Send a message to Members of the European Parliament by going to:
"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made" Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944).
News from the
European Parliamentary Labour Party
27 January 2011
For Immediate Release
EURO-MPS BATTLE TO BLOCK BABY MILK HEALTH CLAIM
Please go to: http://info.babymilkaction.org/news/campaignblog260111
Consumers International/IBFAN speeches at the WHO Executive Board Meeting, Geneva. January 2011, WHO Geneva
The debate about the value of the BMJ comment piece rages on, with misleading stories and headlines falsely implying that breastfeeding is a risk to health and that the UK guidance is a rigid dictate to mothers forbidding any food other than breastmilk until the clock strikes midnight at the end of the 6th month. Since some of the media are also questioning whether the links between the authors and the baby food industry are relevant, I thought it might be helpful to explain our concerns about the paper, its timing and the authors' knowledge of the risks of media reporting.
Consultation on Bisphenol A: The Plastic Materials and Articles in Contact with Food (Eng)
see also new Policy Blog: http://info.babymilkaction.org/node/326
WHO breastfeeding recommendations under attack from industry-funded scientists
Press release 14 January 2011
The BBC, the Guardian, The Times, The Sun and other media are carrying stories - about a comment piece from four authors published in the British Medical Journal today challenging World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation that breastfeeding is exclusive for 6 months (no other foods or drinks introduced). The media coverage implies that the challenge is based on new evidence. In fact this is not a new scientific study nor a systematic review, but the authors review of selected past research, published in the 'Analysis' section of the BMJ.
New Zealand ASA upholds complaint against Wyeth for S26 Lutien eye claim
Two magazine advertisements published in Littles were both very similar and featured the headline piece which read:
“SEE THE WORLD THROUGH THEIR EYES”
STOP PRESS: The EU Committee that met on the 6th December APPROVED the claim that DHA improves eyesight for use on follow-on milks and baby foods, Members of the European Parliament and the European Council now have 3 months to comment.
Please contact your local MEP and asked them to stop this claim being approved.
EU deadline for DHA, ALA and ARA claims
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) continues to plough through the hundreds of dossiers supplied by food companies who wish to make claims on foods (see UDs 41 & 42). We focus on children’s food and formula claims which fall under Article 14 of the European Nutrition and Health Claims Regulations (1924/2006).
Baby Milk Action response to Department of Health Questions regarding commercial involvement in Start 4 Life October 2010
What would your criteria be for supporting the inclusion of an organisation as a Start4Life partner?
In addition to the submission made on behalf of the Baby Feeding Law Group and the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition Baby Milk Action would like to make some additional comments regarding the consultation about Private Sector involvement with Start for Life.
The questions posed need to be rephrased. Baby Milk Action is not comfortable with being seen as supporting partnership with any for-profit company on any government health education scheme, especially on Start4Life. Our position has, from the start, been that the involvement of commercial companies in education schemes risks undue commercial influence of the messages being conveyed, increasing the likelihood that parents receive conflicting messages which are known to undermine the DH public health line. We cannot stress enough the importance of all governments taking seriously their responsibilities and obligations under the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Nutrition to provide truly objective, evidence-based information and support to parents.
Arch Dis Child published online July 26, 2010 J S Forsyth
International code of marketing of breast-milkand international governance --three decades later time for hostilities to be replaced by effective national substitutes
An article in the Archive of Diseases in Childhood by Prof Stewart Forsyth (who declares long-standing collaboration with the formula companies) portrays a harmful message about Baby Milk Action and other groups monitoring and campaigning to stop the harmful marketing of baby foods. Below are some comments about the article and the media coverage it is generating:
Baby Milk Action response to the Department of Children Schools and Families consultation: Assessing the Impact of the Commercial World on Children's Wellbeing - A Call for Evidence July 2008
The Baby Feeding Law Group representing 24 leading health professional and lay organisations in the UK, including the Royal Colleges of Paediatrics, Nursing and Midwifery, has written to the US company Mead Johnson about its irresponsible promotion of Alactagrow in the Philippines.
One aspect of the new Education Minister, Michael Gove's policy that hasn't been questioned is what he means when he will check whether parents who want to set up new schools have a "dark agenda."
Good that he promises not to allow extremist religious groups,' fake theories' and 'bogus science' - but what about the corporate agenda?
What happened when Nestlé was reported for violating the UN Global Compact and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises?
The UN Global Compact and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises seek to improve compliance of businesses with human rights norms and other international standards. A coalition of organisations registered complaints in June 2009 regarding Nestlé S.A. to the Global Compact Office and the Swiss National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines. Both stressed they are responsible for voluntary initiatives and that they are only prepared to promote 'dialogue'. Although the UN Global Compact Office has powers to exclude companies, it stated: "Of course, abuses of the 10 Principles do occur; however we believe that such abuses only indicate that it is important for the company to remain in the Compact and learn from its mistakes." It is suggested that this international regulatory framework is both ineffective at holding corporations to account and is misused for public relations purposes. Alternatives are proposed.
Question tabled in the House of Lords by Lord Avebury, (Lib Dem Peer) 30th November 2009
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will discuss with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees the desirability of entering into a new partnership agreement with Nestlé, with reference to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly resolutions. [HL378]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): We fully support the principles of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly and are committed to the promotion and encouragement of breastfeeding for infants. We have spoken with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and understand that they are in the process of considering their position.
6 Jan 2010 : Column WA99
US bans DHA and ARA in organic formulas
Obama administration bans two additives used in organic baby food
By Kimberly Kindy Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that two synthetic additives will no longer be permitted in infant formula or baby foods certified as organic because the widely used ingredients have not received legal approval for use in organic products The additives -- omega-3 fatty acid DHA and omega-6 fatty acid ARA -- are present in 90 percent of organic infant formulas and are marketed as promoting brain and eye development in ways that mimic breast milk. The Washington Post reported last July that U.S. Department of Agriculture employees had concluded three years earlier that the fatty acids violated federal standards and should be banned from products carrying the federal organic label. Their findings were overruled by a USDA program manager who had been heavily lobbied by the formula industry.
Nestle challenged over its health claims strategy which tells mothers in 120 countries that its baby milk will 'protect' their babies.
As Greenpeace activists cut through the ceiling of the Palais in Lausanne the Nestle AGM Nestlé, one of the world's most boycotted companies because of the way it markets baby milk, was challenged at its shareholder meeting about its failure to abide by marketing standards adopted by the World Health Assembly.
"Good afternoon. Thank you very much for allowing me to speak once more.....
Breastfeeding provides an ideal window of opportunity for obesity prevention and may help in the development of taste receptors and appetite control.
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considered that there are two potential, cost-effective interventions that can be put into place immediately to deal with the childhood obesity epidemic: decreased television viewing and breastfeeding promotion.
“Artificially fed infants consume 30,000 more calories than breastfed infants by 8 months of age” (equivalent to 120 chocolate bars - 4 a week). Student Study Guide for Breastfeeding and Human Lactation KG Auerbach, J Riordan - 1993
As pressure builds to stop junk food advertising to children, many companies are focussing attention on nutrition and health education in an attempt to re-establish themselves as producers of healthy food. By building public trust in this image they can divert attention from the continued aggressive marketing of unhealthy foods. The education materials and facilities that are produced as a result present an even more complex problem than straightforward advertising because they blur the boundaries between advertising, marketing and education.
Although individual employees often have philanthropic motives, corporations themselves have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximise profits, so the deal will be done with multiple motives:
For example, companies will hope to:
Government panel says there need to be 'steps taken' to address problems in enforcing baby milk marketing law. Campaigners welcome recommendation and call for UK law to be brought into line with international standards http://info.babymilkaction.org/pressrelease/pressrelease11mar10a
The report of the Independent Review Panel has been published today (11th March) on the DH and FSA wesbites. The Minister for Public Health, Gillian Merron, will publish her response 'as soon as possible'.
Baby Milk Action and the Baby Feeding Law Group will publish a response ASAP also.
A summary of the responses can be found on this link:
On behalf of the Baby Feeding Law Group I ask the FSA Board about:
Tim Smith, CEO of the FSA responds.
to see the video follow this link and choose Q&A
Overview of evidence on health inequalities and their social determinants
Baby Milk Action is offering an online course on monitoring the baby food industry.
The first two modules are now available to members of Baby Milk Action.
If you are registered as a member with the site and logged in, you will see links under the courses menu saying Module 1 and Module 2.
<---------- Look at the menu on the left for where it says "Courses".
Click on the link to the relevant module to begin or continue with the course. If you cannot see links saying "Module 1" and "Module 2", click here to confirm you are logged in.
If you are a member and have not yet registered with the site, click here to register.
If you belong to an organisation (such as IFIT) that has arranged for you to do the course, register in the same way as a Baby Milk Action member, but specify the name of your organisation when you contact us to upgrade your registration.
The course will consist of 8 modules based on the training the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) gives to member organisations around the world. These have been tailored to the situation in the UK and include information on the narrower UK marketing legislation.
Each module consists of short filmed talks, quizzes, reading, a powerpoint presentation and an exercise. Participants have access to the tutor via the online discussion forum and will be able to book a personal tutorial by phone or skype during the course. The course culminates in a guided monitoring exercise to receive a Baby Milk Action certificate as a Code Monitor.
There will be a small charge for each module (£15.00 each). Members of Baby Milk Action can do the first two modules free of charge and the remaining modules at a discounted price (£10.00 each). If you have registered with the site as a member, we will contact you as each module becomes available over the coming months. The course will be made available for non-members once all modules are available.
If you are a member of Baby Milk Action or an organisation that has arranged for you to do the course, then you can set up your registration with this site now to access the first module. Click here for details.
Membership of Baby Milk Action starts at just £7.00. To find out more, click here.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAMME GUIDANCE
Preventing obesity: whole system approaches
Consultation on the Draft Scope February 2010
Watch this space for blogs from Patti Rundall OBE, Baby Milk Action Policy Director.
Patti will explain the challenges, actions and successes in the world of shaping the policies relating to infant feeding. At national, European Union and international level.
Breastfeeding is best for babies. All parents should know this. Breastfed babies have less risk of short and long-term illness. There are also health benefits for mothers who breastfeed.But if you have decided to use formula, for whatever reason, how do you decide which formula to use? Where do you find the information you need?
In this 4-part film, lasting less than 30 minutes, you can listen to Baby Milk Action's Campaigns and Networking Coordinator, Mike Brady, provide answers to these and other questions.
Part 1 is given above (if you cannot see the player, check you have Adobe Flashplayer installed). This covers: Department of Health on formula; composition of formula; claims that are companies can make about formula.
You will have to register to watch the following parts of the film (there is no charge to do so).
Part 2: The development of formula; putting risk in perspective; changes to formula composition; LCPs.
Part 3: Oligosaccharides ('Prebiotics'); how to choose between formulas; follow-on formula and Goodnight milks.
Part 4: Guidance on mixing up powdered formula to reduce risks.
If you have already registered and are logged in, click here for part 2.
2010 Update The safety of the ingredients - the US experience:
IBFAN press release
FAO/WHO Codex Nutrition Committee (CCFSNDU)
Chiang Mai, Thailand, 3rd November 2006
Cereal-based baby foods are an unlikely subject of controversy but this week they have been at the centre of a bitter struggle between health advocates and the multibillion dollar baby food industry whose interests were defended by the European Commission and the United States. The controversy centered on sugar levels and the rising levels of obesity and food related diseases which are fast consuming health budgets across the globe.
Download the attached pdf for the full press release.