I wish to expand on my comment in your article “Nestlé launches PR offensive over baby milk” (MW December 2) concerning the company’s forthcoming PR disaster.
Nestlé chief executive Peter Brabeck-Letmathe claims 54 countries have verified officially that Nestlé complies with the World Health Organisation’s marketing code for these products. It is distributing a 180-page book around the world containing letters presented as proof of this.
Closer investigation reveals Brabeck-Letmathe’s claim does not stand up to scrutiny. For example, the author of the letter from Denmark said in an interview that she was “very surprised” her letter appears in the book as “we never certify that a producer is marketing in accordance with Danish regulations. We have only given a description of the system”.
The letter from the Cook Islands quotes the Ministry of Health nutritionist: “I have not noticed any of its products being sold here.”
We have concerns about Nestlé’s baby food marketing activities in many of the countries featured in the book, and we would like Nestlé to make the required changes.
Perhaps shareholders will soon push for the same. This book is a time-bomb waiting to explode. Brabeck-Letmathe has tied his name and reputation to it, and the clock is ticking.
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