Nestle Baby Formula Discussion
This is a reaction to the Nestlé controversy which discusses how writers and journalist have blamed the company for the deaths of third world infants. The company is one of the largest food-processing and baby formula companies in the world. They have been allegedly charged for the deaths of infants because of the improper use of the baby formula by some parents. Many parents dilute the formula with water to stretch their supply thinking that the formula in the bottle itself has nutrient qualities. The result is extreme malnutrition. People are arguing that through the companies media and advertising that they are discouraging breast feeding. However, Nestlé denies this claim and made a statement saying that they believe breast feeding is the “best food for infants and encourages breast feeding”. The company goes on to say that while breast feeding is the best option, their infant formula has a vital role in proper infant nutrition as a supplement, and as a substitute for breast milk when a mother cannot or chooses not to breast feed. It seems that the reason children are often being malnourished is the unsanitary conditions and the water some parents are mixing with the baby formula is contaminated water. In defense of Nestlé, scientist found that the contamination of a local native gruel (liquid food boiled in milk or water) compared to an ordinary reconstituted milk baby formula prepared under primitive conditions were contaminated to similarly dangerous levels. The company is essentially saying that it is not their product that is gravely affecting babies, but what is being put in their product.
In 1974, Nestlé, aware of changing social patterns in the developing world and the increased access to radio and television there, reviewed its marketing practices on a region-by-region basis. As a result, mass media advertising of infant formula began to be phased out immediately in certain markets and, by 1978, was banned worldwide by the company.