Thursday, May 14, 2009

Something this mom doesn't like

There are very few companies that I absolutely boycott. There's only one I boycott for a rational reason, and not just because they got my orde wrong when I was having a bad day or they were out of the DVD I wanted to watch when I went in to rent it.

I was recently pitched by Nestle and they happen to be like the ONE company that I just absolutely try to avoid like "the plague". I'm not sure which plague "they" meant when that figure of speech was coined...maybe the black plague?

Oh it was the best...the bright spot in my day to hear my husband chuckle when I told him I was pitched by Nestle. He knows that I will pitch a bottle of Deer Park water or walk briskly by Kiehl's or The Body Shop, which I used to love so much because they are under that Nestle umbrella. It doesn't bring me joy, I can say that!

The fact that they blatantly violate the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. Is what doesn't sit well with me. WHO is a credible, reliable organization and their goal is to protect babies. And mothers, by the way. UNICEF is another reputable organization and they are right on board with the WHO's stance on the ethical marketing of artificial baby milks.

I don't understand if a company feels confident that they are offering a reliable, necessary product, why they feel the need to market so aggressively, and many times to mothers who don't even have the money to justify the effort it took to market to them in the first place.

Why do I boycott Nestle? Well, here's a snippet of information from Baby Milk Action:

Nestlé is targeted with the boycott because monitoring conducted by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) finds it to be responsible for more violations of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for baby foods than any other company (see the codewatch section for profiles of the different companies to target their malpractice).

As UNICEF has said:

"Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not in dispute."

I do not Boycott Nestle as a judgement against artificial baby milks or the mothers who feed them to their babies. I Boycott Nestle because they market artificial baby milks in so-called "third world countries" where clean water and proper sanitation for bottles and accessories isn't always readily accessible. By the time mothers realize that they are OUT of the formula that was pushed on them and can't afford more or even know where to get more, they also find that their breasts have emptied of milk and they now have no nutritious or safe way to feed their babies. THAT is my biggest issue. It's not EVEN that they make baby formula, it's the sneaky tactics they use to get mothers to use it, particularly mothers who aren't making informed choices, but feel pressured by these "experts" to feed their babies the "right" thing.

If you want to get involved or just to find out more about the Nestle Boycott, please visit the One Million Campain website and
IBFAN The International Baby Food Action Network.

AND...if you are a "Mommy Blogger" who wants to take a stand and remind Nestle that Mommy Blogs are one of the best sources of advertisement, information and influence and one Mommy's word of mouth is worth a hundred ad spots, take the Mommy Bloggers Say No To Nestle button in the right column and put it on your site, share it with your fellow Mommy Bloggers!


Angie Vinez said...

I had no idea. None. You can bet that I will be spreading the word about this.

My husband always laughs when I say that I'm boycotting a company. He doesn't see what one person can do. But, when one person tells someone, and they tell more people, eventually you've got a whole lot of people making a difference.

Thank you for spreading the word and letting us know.

Spamgirl said...

Make sure you read both sides:

You'll notice the data on the site you mentioned is from 2 years ago... things have changed, and I have yet to see any data from more recently that accuses Nestle of continuing the practice *unchecked*.

Beyond that, you really need to find a list of the companies that Nestle owns - they own pretty much everything that Coke doesn't, or so it seems. I guarantee you're still buying Nestle products, you just have no idea.

Things Moms Like said...

Spamgirl, Nestle does have their own website and does try to defend their reputation and hey, who shouldn't be allowed to do that. There is no evidence that their marketing practices have not changed significantly.

The Compleat Mother publishes a very comprehensive list of the companies that Nestle owns.

Their website has a good list of some of their "main" brands...the ones that are easy to find out about

I think that people are particularly surprised that Nestle has a stake in the GIGANTIC L'Oreal empire, which includes brands such as The Body Shop, Lancome, Redken, Armani, Ralph Lauren and Matrix to name a few. A good list here:

Frankly, I don't know anyone naive enough to say that they know for a fact that they are never consuming Nestle products, but those who are boycotting Nestle tend to stay "up" on what Nestle owns and makes every attempt to avoid buying these products. The whole "well you never know if you might be consuming a Nestle product" isn't ever reason enough not to try.

And really? As long as Nestle maintains that there sis a "safe and/or acceptable level of melamine", I just cannot be convinced that they have the best interest of the baby in mind when they are creating and marketing their products. They are not they only formula company with this ideal, but they are the most resistant and the one who has been thumbing their nose at the WHO and UNICEF for decades.

melissa said...

i'm putting it on my blog. because that is terrible!!
your response to spamgirl...RAWKED woman!!!
and soon the world will see that mommy bloggers will be in control. oh yeah!

Things Moms Like said...

Thanks! Feel free to tweet or tell your friends about the button because they can have it, too!

And I re-read my post (which I should have done before I hit post) and saw some really funny (stupid) typos. Sorry about those. Just assume what you THINK I was trying to say and insert that, k?

TopHat said...

And something that isn't on the Compleat Mother's list: Gerber foods. Just go to to see that "Nestle Nutrition" is on their header bar. I don't know what that means for things like Gerber onesies and stuff, though. Maybe they're only tied through the food aspect, but I've decided I'm going to boycott Gerber everything just in case.

Stacie said...

Wow. I had no idea. Thanks for the information!

EverImprovingMe said...

Thank you for sharing

Melodie said...

This is important info and I am so glad you posted this. It reminds me I need to get myself a boycott Nestle sticker myself. I especially like that you partially gear this post towards other mommy bloggers who may be getting pitched by and reviewing Nestle products. Those mommy bloggers lose my readership. Its something for them to think twice about before signing up with Nestle.

Deb said...

You rock!

Nestle is absolutely one of the worst multi-national corps and is up there with Exxon and other oil, tobacco and pesticide companies for human rights and environmental abuses--definitely the worst food company.

It's not only breastmilk issues, though they continue, but also child labor in their chocolate, water and environment issues and a host of other infractions. They seem to make no efforts to improve, which is what is the killer. Just evil.

It made me sick when they bought the Body Shop.

Thanks for standing up. Them pitching Mommybloggers was a step too far!

Firethunder said...

Thank you for sharing