Submitted by Judith Siers-Poisson on
As CMD has reported previously, the infant formula industry in the U.S. is committed to making sure that women aren't, as they put it, made to feel guilty about not breast feeding. But it seems that formula producers are also looking to make inroads in Europe, where rates of breast feeding are far higher than in the U.S. The Independent "has uncovered strong ties between Nestle, the world's largest baby milk manufacturer, and the Department of Health. Rosie Cooper, a parliamentary private secretary to the Health minister Ben Bradshaw, is undergoing a year-long Industry and Parliament Trust fellowship with Nestle, and in February went for a week to South Africa as a guest of the group to oversee its corporate social responsibility activities." Three other Labor Party members of Parliament accompanied her at Nestle's expense. Critics are alarmed that the corporation has made such inroads into the government. A spokesperson for Baby Milk Action, which together with UNICEF, Save the Children and the National Childhood Trust, has organized a boycott of Nestle, said "Time and again we see Nestle trying to ingratiate itself with health workers and policymakers through gifts, free trips, sponsorship and so-called partnerships. Surely the Government should not look to companies to fund and organise trips such as this."