A peer-reviewed study in the British Medical Journal in September examined how parents are using Nestlé Bear Brand coffee creamer as a breastmilk substitute. It is unsuitable for this purpose and Nestlé prints a warning to this effect on the labels.
So why is it being used? Researchers found the warnings are undermined by the more prominent logo of a mother bear holding a baby bear in the breastfeeding position.
If Nestlé was concerned about this misuse of its product then surely it would take the simple step of removing this logo. That's what we are calling for. In a response to the article, Nestlé says it is reviewing the product and has currently stopped its distribution. Why has it taken so long to respond, however? The production of the logo was a deliberate act. It would be very interesting to know the results of the focus groups during its development.
Another product that is used inappropriately is Nestlé whole milk, marketed as Nido or Ninho in many countries and promoted in the infant feeding sections of pharmacies and supermarkets. We have asked Nestlé to remove it from this section as poor mothers who use powdered milk are more likely to buy this unsuitable product which is much cheaper than infant formula. Nestlé has refused.
It commented at the time: "Why would the company want to promote other non-suitable products to feed infants in competition with its own products?"
Because it gains extra sales and profits?
The question Nestlé has failed to answer is why does it continue with practices it knows to be harmful? Why does it take exposés and campaigning to force changes?
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