|Truth and Lies in Baby Food Advertisements|
Call to Action: Find advertisements for baby food in any language and submit them using Submission Form for Atlas of Baby Food Promotions to Nupur Bidla at email@example.com who will present on this issue at the World Breastfeeding Conference taking place in Delhi this December. Deadline is Sept 20.
A growing threat to food security and sustaining food traditions is the rise of industrial food, packaged food, and food-substitutes. Often sales of these are driven by false advertising, unverified health claims, pseudo-science or violation of advertising standards. The more packaged food we eat, the less whole and fresh food we can eat. When this trend reaches into childhood, the lifelong impact on eating habits and health is great. For infants, the nromal food is breastmilk and only in cases where a mother is unable to breastfeed does formula milk offer benefits for health and indeed survival. In other cases, where breastfeeding is possible, formula milk is an inferior food. Use of formula milk without proper guidance can interfere with a mother's ability to
establish and maintain milk supply and unnecessarily compromise the
health of both mother and baby. Literature or marketing material that suggests otherwise violates national and international guidelines.
This is true not only in India but around the world - but in countries where regulations are regularly updated and enforced, these ads are challenged and in some cases banned.
To help document violations and challenge the companies unethical practices, Breastfeeding Promotion Network of Indiahas called upon us as concerned persons to collect every specimen we can find of advertisements and promotions for "baby food." This includes breastmilk substitutes - infant formula complementary food substitutes - other powders and edible food-like substances that are marketed for young children in lieu of breastmilk and solid food.
What you need to do: Find advertisements for baby food in any language and submit them to Nupur Bidla at firstname.lastname@example.org who will present on this issue at the World Breastfeeding Conference taking place in Delhi this December. Deadline is Sept 20.
While we will try to collect as many as we can from India, but please note that this is a GLOBAL conference - the ads may be from ANY COUNTRY. You may use the attached form to indicate where the ad appeared and what inappropriate content was included.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of UK commented: "The health and nutritional claims made by GSK and Nestle may be allowed in other parts of the world, but they breach the strict rules in the UK and we have seen no evidence to substantiate them."
Yet these ads continue to air unchallenged in India today. This effort to document the appearance of these ads should encourage more fact-checking and compel the government to enforce standards for advertising in India. Deadline is 20 Sept 2012.
We have wrung our hands many times over the false advertising of the packaged food and food-substitute industry. Please let us make use of this invitation from the World Breastfeeding Conference. Please use the Submission Form for Atlas of Baby Food Promotions to send in the copies of ads that you find. A sample ad with the inappropriate claims highlighted is included in the form.
- LS Aravinda
enclosed: Letter from Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India Member (cover letter to submission form)
Dear Friends, Greetings from BPNI! There is good news for you!! Deadline for Submitting your entry for the “ATLAS of Baby Food Promotion” has been extended. Now you can submit /report your contribution by 20th of September 2012. To send your entry please click here to see the guidelines. We wish you could be a part of this historical Atlas, we would be happy to hear from you through a confirmation mail.
Dr. Arun Gupta MD FIAP
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