President & CEO
Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd.
5-33-1, Shiba, Minato-ku
Tel.: +81 3 3456 0112
Fax: +81 3 3769 6129
Morinaga began in 1917 and was reorganised as Morinaga Milk Industry Co. Ltd. in 1949. It manufactures dairy products and by-products, beverages and other food products, as well as pharmaceuticals. Morinaga manufactures formula in Indonesia through a technical licence agreement with Sari Husada, an Indonesian company, and in China under a joint venture agreement with Harbin Morinaga Milk Ltd.
Wei Chuan, the largest food and dairy manufacturer in Taiwan, has a technical guidance agreement with Morinaga and its Code violations are listed under Morinaga. Wei Chuan reportedly holds 16% of the baby food market in China.
At least 20 children in Malaysia fell ill after drinking Morinaga milk, prompting the health ministry to advise consumers not to use Morinaga’s NL88 Lactose-free Formula until its Japanese counterpart gave assurance that the milk was safe for consumption. Morinaga’s BF Infant Formula and its Chil Mil 2 were pronounced to be safe as they were produced in Holland. (The mystery of globalisation at work…)
Promotion to the public
In Bolivia and Malaysia, mothers receive free samples of Morinaga BF from health workers.
Company reps from Morinaga and Wei Chuan visit mothers in Taiwan at their homes and give samples of Chil-Mil and S1 respectively and provide information about infant feeding.
Morinaga’s website promotes its products as being close to mother’s milk. The website wrongly identifies the lack of breastmilk as a problem which is solved by mixed feeding.
Promotion at point-of-sale
In Bolivia, company reps visit shops and pharmacies to hand out promotional material and contact mothers. Morinaga rewards shops and pharmacies with discounts and donations of other products, usually for better shelf space and greater sales volumes of Morinaga BF. The company also extends the credit period for shops. Customers receive discounts and shops use special displays to increase sales.
Promotion in health care facilities
Health facility personnel in Taiwan give mothers information materials from Morinaga. One brochure promoting Chil-Mil called “21st Century Health Baby” implies that artificial feeding is equivalent or superior to breastfeeding.
In Taiwan, company reps give mothers company bags with diapers that bear the Chil-Mil brand name.
Morinaga clocks with the company and brand logos are found in health facilities in Taiwan.
Promotion to health workers
In Bolivia, Morinaga gives samples of Morinaga BF to health workers every 12 weeks with no protocol for research.
Free or low-cost supplies
Morinaga is one of the companies that pay a contract fee to hospitals in Taiwan for exclusive rights to supply formula during the contract period. The fee amounts to US$ 25-30 per baby fed on one of its formulas.
In Taiwan, almost all health facilities get Chil-Mil through donations, usually once a month. If they buy the formula, they usually receive a discount or a special rate, and sometimes payment is not collected at all.
In Bolivia, health facilities receive discounted supplies of Morinaga BF every four weeks.
In Bolivia, Morinaga BF labels do not state that breastfeeding is best, nor do they provide clear instructions for using the product. The labels do not show a batch number, nor do they warn about the health hazards of inappropriate preparation.
Labels for Wei Chuan S1 in Taiwan do not warn about the health hazards of inappropriate preparation and use before the recommended age. They also do not contain a batch number.
The Wei Chuan S2 label in Taiwan resembles the infant formula label. It does not warn about the health hazards of inappropriate preparation.
Stretching the Rules