News / Press Releases
We were saddened to hear about the sudden death of one of Baby Milk Action’s long-time advisors, Peter Greaves. He was to be 90 in March but showed no signs of slowing down or aging when he died on 16th...
On Board with Nestlé? Academics express concern over conflicts of interest Maverick Citizen: Academic independence https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-23-on-board-with-nestle-academics-express-concern-over-conflicts-of-interest/ (Photo: logos-world.net/Wikipedia) By Mark Heywood Follow 23 Nov 2021 1 Academics across the world have been expressing growing concern over what they describe as ‘corporate…
Kul Gautum, former deputy executive director of UNICEF and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations LINK Dear Charlotte, It has come to my attention and that of many UNICEF retirees, that in June 2020, UNICEF and WHO along with several…
French and US Trade delegations put child health at risk (39th Codex Alimentarius Nutrition Committee (CCNFSDU), Berlin, Germany)
French Government calls for global withdrawal of Lactalis formulas.
1st February 2017
There has been an IBFAN team in Geneva for the WHO Executive Board Meeting. Two days have been spent in closed meetings for the shortlisting of three candidates for the post Director General of WHO.
IBFAN’s statements on four Agenda items (Emergencies, ending child Obesity, NCDs and WHO governance).
Open letter regarding the Gates Foundation application for official relations
January 26, 2017 (Geneva):
(signed by 36 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) was issued to members of the World Health Organization’s Executive Board (EB) at its semi-annual meeting this week in Geneva. EB members will decide on Tuesday 31st January whether to grant the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Official Relations status with WHO.
New 84-country IBFAN report launched at World Breastfeeding Conference shows progress in helping mothers to breastfeed – December 11, 2016.
On the occasion of IBFAN’s Second World Breastfeeding Conference Dr. M.J Phaahla, Deputy Minister of Health, Government of the Republic of South Africa, today released IBFAN’s new global report: “Has Your Nation Done Enough to Bridge the Gaps?: 84 country report on status and progress of implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding 2008-2016”.
The report shows that despite the undisputed evidence that infant mortality could be reduced by 1.3 times if all women breastfed their babies within the first hour of birth, only half of all newborns in the 80 countries reviewed are breastfed. Read more
Halfdan Mahler: father of the International Code dies.
We are very sad to hear that Halfdan Mahler WHO’s Director General when the International Code was adopted has died on 14th December. What an amazing contribution this man made to children’s health and survival. Read more
Global standard-setting committee puts child health before trade
38th Code Alimentarius Nutrition Committee, Hamburg, Germany 7th December 2016
Codex Alimentarius, the FAO/WHO body that sets global trading standards for food, today decided to put the interest of child health above trade when, in a breakthrough consensus, the Committee agreed to include reference to WHO’s recommendations (and HERE) for strict controls on the marketing and labelling of formulas for babies over six months.[i] Today’s development should help governments halt the inappropriate marketing of these products, including cross-branding with formulas for infants. for more information please Read more
REPORT OF THE UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE RIGHT TO FOOD TO THE 2016 UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: NUTRITION – MALNUTRITION
Breastfeeding a matter of human rights, say UN experts, urging action on formula milk
GENEVA (22 November 2016) – Breastfeeding is a human rights issue for babies and mothers and should be protected and promoted for the benefit of both, a group of United Nations experts says in a statement* made public today.
States should take urgent action to stop the “misleading, aggressive and inappropriate” marketing of breast-milk substitutes in a multi-billion-dollar global industry, say the UN Special Rapporteurs on the right to health, Dainius Pûras, and on the right to food, Hilal Elver, together with the Working Group on discrimination against women, and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Read more www.babymilkaction.org/archives/11519 and http://www.babymilkaction.org/archives/11109
FORMULA MARKETING LAW CLEARS FIRST COMMONS HURDLE
News Release from Alison Thewliss MP Wednesday 16th November 2016
A new law to tighten up advertising of formula milk has cleared its first Commons hurdle today. MPs gave their unanimous backing to SNP MP Alison Thewliss to push ahead with her Feeding Products for Babies and Children (Advertising and Promotion) Bill, which she says will “better support all parents in the infant feeding choices they make for their children”. The Scottish MP, who chairs Westminster’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding & Inequalities, has already secured cross-party support from MPs in the Conservatives and Labour as well as other parties in the UK Parliament. She will now take her Bill forward for second reading in Parliament in February.for more information please Read more
Press Release: National WIC Association Statement on Infant Formula Manufacturers
September 10, 2016 Denver, CO: This morning, National WIC Association (NWA) Board of Directors Chair, Donna Bister, announced during NWA’s 2016 Nutrition Education & Breastfeeding Promotion Conference the Association is ending its relationships with infant formula manufacturers, putting into effect a resolution passed in May 2015 and reaffirmed in May 2016 by voting members of the Association. Effective immediately, NWA will no longer invite infant formula manufacturers to be members, exhibitors at conferences, advertisers or sponsors of events and activities. for more information please Read more
England, NI and Wales: Improvement Notices introduced today to enforce EU formula and baby food marketing rules – companies face criminal charges for non compliance 20 July 2016. Read more
Trade vs Health – WHO opens the door to big business while trying to protect babies. 69th World Health Assembly May, 2016
This week’s World Health Assembly included two closely linked hot topics: how WHO should interact with businesses and venture philanthropies and whether trade should come before health when tackling the marketing of baby foods and formulas. During a full week of behind-closed-doors negotiations on both topics, the United States and rich producer countries in the EU and New Zealand, pushed the interests of their corporations: opposing the adoption of effective safeguards to protect WHO’s independence, integrity and credibility and attempting to sabotage the adoption of a new WHO Guidance on baby foods.for more information please Read more
PRESS RELEASE: US trade lobby ignores global health concerns
69th World Health Assembly 26th May, 2016
At this year’s World Health Assembly in Geneva – three hot topics are on the agenda: baby foods, WHO’s interactions with Business and chronic diseases. IBFAN has been following these issues for decades and is alarmed to hear how the United States, backed by other producer countries in the EU and New Zealand – has been attempting to sabotage a new Guidance proposed by WHO.
The Guidance aims to help countries tackle the inappropriate marketing of baby foods and formulas – markets that are rapidly expanding. Worldwide sales of formula milks are almost US$45 billion, and likely to rise by 55% to US$70 billion by 2019. Formulas targeting older babies – looking just like formulas for newborns – are being aggressively and deceptively promoted and account for 50% of absolute growth. for more information please Read more
World Health Organization’s independence and integrity are non-negotiable
Geneva, 24 May 2016 –Civil Society Organizations and Social Movements call upon WHO Member States not to compromise the independence, integrity and credibility of the WHO while negotiating on Framework on Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA). A joint statement signed by 59 organization’s called on Member States to put in place a robust framework to protect WHO from the undue influence of venture philanthropy foundations with large conflicted investments, private sector and private sector influenced NGOs. Further, the statement calls for a comprehensive conflict of interest policy. for more information please Read more
Joint news release WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN Laws to protect breastfeeding inadequate in most countries
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 9 May 2016 – A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) reveals the status of national laws to protect and promote breastfeeding. Of the 194 countries analysed in the report, 135 have in place some form of legal measure related to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly (the Code). This is up from 103 in 2011, when the last WHO analysis was done. However, only 39 countries have laws that enact all provisions of the Code—a slight increase from 37 in 2011.for more information please Read more
CLICK HERE for web stream of the launch event
CLICK HERE for press release on WHO website
CLICK HERE for the new report
As Nestle boasts of infant formula sales growth, Botswana police file charges over aggressive marketing, while Tesco puts formula with “excessive protein” on clearance sale in breach of UK law 18 February 2016
Nestle today launched its latest full-year results, reporting 4.2% organic growth, stating: “Infant formula including growing-up milks, delivered good growth”. This growth comes from systematic violations of baby milk marketing standards adopted by the World Health Assembly, according to the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), which monitors company policies and practices around the world. This same week, the Botswana Gazette reported that police are filing charges against Nestle for breaking national marketing regulations in its targeting of health workers. Read more
European Parliament votes for big reductions in sugar in baby foods and prohibitions on labelling at too early an age.
20th January 2016
The European Parliament today voted today – 393 votes in favour, 305 votes against – to reject draft EU rules on baby food, which would have allowed baby foods to contain high levels of sugar and products to be labelled for use from 4 months of age. The European Commission (the EU’s civil service) now has to bring the regulations into line with the sugar recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Health Assembly’s requirement that baby foods are not marketed for use before 6 months of age (WHA) and resubmit them (1). CLICK HERE for the motion adopted. Read more
Civil Society warns of corporate takeover of the World Health Organisation, World Health Organisation (WHO), Geneva, 26/01/2016
WHO: Unease over seconded philanthropic foundation staff to top management
Geneva, 9 December (TWN) – Philanthropic foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Foundation have seconded their staffers to top management positions at the World Health Organization.
A UN Foundation staffer was placed in the office of the Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan as senior strategist (D1 level) for a 24-month contract this year. One Gates Foundation staffer is seconded at P5 level as manager of program operations and cluster management at the Polio and Emergencies Cluster.Read more
The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2015 – Business of Malnutrition
New publication – the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2o15
This includes three articles contributed by IBFAN.
The Business of Malnutrition: The perfect public relations cover for big food by Patti Rundall, Policy Director, Baby Milk Action, UK Business of Malnutrition, RTF
The Origins of ‘Multi-Stakeholderism’—Why Words Matter by Lida Lhotska, IBFAN –GIFA (inside the above article)
Nutrition policies taken hostage by multinationals and conflicts of interest: the obesity and diabetes epidemic in Mexico by Marcos Arana Cedeño and Xaviera Cabada from IBFAN LAC Obesity in Mexico RTF Read more
WHO opens the doors wide to corporate influence, 68th World Health Assembly, UN Palais
23 March 2013 No appeal from Nestle in spying case
Nestlé indicated on 21 March that it will not be appealing against a Swiss court ruling in January that ordered it to pay damages and costs to members of Attac Switzerland after infiltrating the group with spies. Securitas, which ran the spies for Nestlé and was also ordered to pay damages and costs, has also indicated it will not be appealing.
12 March 2013 GAIN / Gates sponsored Index whitewashes giant food companies.
A new initiative launched today called Access to Nutrition Index - sponsored by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) (1) and the Gates Foundation has been slammed by critics as a whitewash. GAIN is a new type of public private entity which claims to work to tackle malnutrition - but Patti Rundall, Co-Chair of the International Baby Food Action Network, says its work seems to focus on opening up markets for its 600 partner companies (including Danone, the world’s second largest baby food company, Mars, Pepsi, and Coca Cola)