English News Channel Withdraws Promotion of Programmes featuring a Breastmilk Substitute Zerolac.
BPNI noticed that promos of a child malnutrition programme in the Times Now Channel promoted a Breastmilk Substitute product “Zerolac” of Raptakos Bret & Co.
Times Now, the most popular english news channel in India, of the Times of India Group took immediate action to withdraw airing of promos and programmes that BPNI reported that it is a violation of the Indian Law.
Action was swift and is highly appreciable. A joy to report it, and achievement by a preventive action.
Action from TIMES NOW.
In response to BPNI’s letter to Times Now, Priyanka Sehgal, Executive Producer, TIMES NOW responded back to us with this response,
”On a detailed review of the content of the promo, specifically in light of your concerns and the interpretation it may have on the public, we have undertaken the following immediate measures to address the issues raised:
1. Immediate stoppage of airing of the said promo on our channels
2. Discontinued and withdrawn all promotions of this episode on digital, online and social media
3. The episode ‘The Quest for Zero Malnutrition’ featuring the product Zerolac will not be aired on the channel.”
Letter from BPNI
It was nice to talk to you on phone regarding a promo of programme on Times Now. This is to follow up on that ;
We have taken note of the promo of Power to Shunya: ” The Quest for zero malnutrition” The promo on Times Now website says: “In Asia 20% of children under the age of 5 show signs of lactose intolerance but parents confuse these signs with other types of food allergies. So, babies suffering from lactose intolerance get diarrhea, which results in dehydration which then results in weight loss & malnutrition. To help address these challenges, soy protein is quickly gaining ground. Watch Raptakos Bretts story that aims to achieve zero malnutrition through its innovation.”. (emphasis added)
This according us at BPNI is violative of the Infant Milk Substitutes Feeding Bottles, and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 1992, and Amendment Act 2003. (The IMS Act)
A full copy PDF is attached. Both the main Act and Amendment Act can be seen at Ministry of WCD web site as well .
Its provisions are being violated blatantly through promotion of the Raptakos Brett’s formula, “Zerolac”, while the IMS Act bans all kind of promotion of infant milk substitutes.
According to the IMS Act, Promotion means…..
(j)“promotion” means to employ directly or indirectly any method of encouraging any person to purchase or use infant milk substitute, feeding bottle or infant food.
And section 3 of the IMS Act reads as :
“No person shall
(a)advertise, or take part in the publication of any advertisement, for the distribution, sale or supply of infant milk substitutes, feeding bottles or infant foods;or (b)give an impression or create a belief in any manner that feeding of infant milk substitutes and infant foods are equivalent to, or better than, mother’s milk; or
(c) take part in the promotion of infant milk substitutes, feeding bottles or infant foods;
Clearly section 3 c is violated.
In fact company’s marketing director Mr Hemant Dande is heard saying, that they have a soya based formula for lactose intolerance and “diarrhea” along with visuals of the product.
For your information BPNI is notified in the official gazette of India under section 21.c. of the IMS ACt to monitor the compliance with the IMS Act and launch a complaint in the Court of Law.
Second Point : More on ethics
1. The video of the promo promotes Zerolac for Lactose Intolerance AND Diarrhea. Apart from being a violation of the IMS Act, the assertion of the company about achieving Zero malnutrition through Zerolac is totally misleading.
2. The promo also scares away people painting consumption of milk to be harmful in its opening visuals.
You may like to reach out to experts for claims on lactose intolerance which we believe is unfounded.( Given below 4 key persons addresses)
You may like to talk to
Dr Ashok Patwari, Head of Ped Deptt of the Jamia Millia .
Prof Vinod Paul HOD Ped AIIMS
Prof MMA Faridi HOD Ped UCMS GTB Hospital
Dr Sailesh Gupta Secretary General of Indian Academy of Pediatrics.(IAP)
This is to request you to please take preventive steps to stop this promo being aired and also to ensue stopping airing of the particular episode of Power to Shunya: ” The Quest for zero malnutrition”
This step is in the interest of people of India and women and children in particular.
For more information /clarification we are happy to talk to you or any other person who may wish to speak for . I am also copying this mail to Joint Sec WCD.