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Q and A with Mike Brady from Baby Milk Action

(327 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 06-Dec-10 14:05:33

We're inviting you to send in your questions to Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator at Baby Milk Action.

Mike graduated in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and has worked in Africa as an engineer and science teacher. At Baby Milk Action, he monitors the baby food industry and campaigns to hold them to account.

Baby Milk Action is a non-profit organisation which aims to save lives and to end the avoidable suffering caused by inappropriate infant feeding. It is the UK member of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), a network of over 200 citizens groups in more than 100 countries.

Baby Milk Action's slogan is: "Protecting breastfeeding - Protecting babies fed on formula". It is perhaps best known for promoting a boycott of Nestlé, but also works with national governments and international bodies on regulations and marketing standards.

Mike was seen earlier this year outside Nestlé (UK) HQ in the guise of Mr. Henry Nastie, explaining Nestlé's marketing practices.

Send your questions in to Mike before midday on Friday 9th December and we'll link through to his answers from this thread later the following week.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Jan-11 10:34:06

Apologies for not linking to Mike's answers from this page before Christmas, if anyone missed the full Q and A, you can read it here

Mike Brady Q and A

weasle Wed 22-Dec-10 22:02:39

Fabulous answers Mr Brady! Thank you. Very well written and i can see why you got the job (referring to the question about why a man!)

I am inspired to join BMA. Thanks.

lowercase Wed 22-Dec-10 19:51:29

there is a link on mn home page

ohanotherone Wed 22-Dec-10 19:09:52

That is a really great Q & A session. Why won't mumsnet post the Q & A's on Mumsnet????? I'm am a bit suspicious as to why you are not doing so. It was all sane and rationale and not demonising etc.. in anyway, just THE TRUTH.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 22-Dec-10 18:12:22

For anyone who's missed the link earlier - you can read the full archived Q and A session with Mike here

lowercase Wed 22-Dec-10 10:55:17

what Organic said.

i will do more.

theboobmeister Wed 22-Dec-10 10:24:26

Nooooooo! Please, no more of this thread!!!!!!

The debate (ie before Mike's answers) was interesting in parts, but honestly, can anyone say that they learnt anything from it? Or changed their views?

C'mon everyone ... peace on earth and all that grin

FrozenNorthPole Tue 21-Dec-10 21:47:59

Wonderful answers Mike. To those who debated the appropriateness of him coming to speak to mumsnet, what do you feel about his response? I'm specifically thinking about Funnys, Mila etc. whose questions he answered.

organiccarrotcake Tue 21-Dec-10 19:21:31

Superb. Thanks Mike.


You're amazing - what you do is amazing. You have and do inspire me to do what I do and I can and will do more.


GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 21-Dec-10 16:26:15

Hi there, big apols for the delay, here's our page, with lots of links to Mike's longer answers on his blog.

Thanks Mike!

theboobmeister Tue 21-Dec-10 14:58:25

Brilliant. Well done Mike.

marzipananimal Tue 21-Dec-10 14:48:57

just finished reading it. very interesting and good stuff

PuzzleRockinAroundTheXmasTree Tue 21-Dec-10 14:21:03

Yes why isn't it?

Great piece.

coldcomfortHeart Tue 21-Dec-10 13:14:21

why on earth isn't it on MN?!

RubyBuckleberry Tue 21-Dec-10 11:20:14

am reading it at the mo. awesome. well done bma. clearly supporting ALL mothers and babies regardless of feeding choices.

tiktok Tue 21-Dec-10 10:41:00

I have read the detailed and comprehensive answers and I hope mumsnet will publish here as well - there is a lot of good information there. I hope some of the people who have posted here will read it.

RJandA Tue 21-Dec-10 09:57:21

Here's a link. He didn't answer mine sad

confuddledDOTcom Mon 20-Dec-10 23:06:37

He has. I've just read them on his website. I'm not sure where they are on MumsNet.

RJandA Mon 20-Dec-10 21:42:34

I don't think he has answered yet

octopusinabox Mon 20-Dec-10 16:07:55

Is there any news from this or have I missed the thread where Mike Brady answers the questions?

confuddledDOTcom Fri 17-Dec-10 23:11:24

No, Tiktok, I was jesting. If Mike can hold his own with Nestle who are going to defend themselves as they have more to lose by doing so, this is nothing.

I think people forget that the aim of BMA and the Nestle boycott is not just about formula in the many ways they're looking at it (misleading advertisement/ information, African mothers etc). There are many practices that Nestle are into that are bad. Yes other companies do some of these things but Nestle do the most and are the worst. The boycott does have an effect, Nestle used to buy it's milk from Grace Mugabe who it is illegal to trade with in all but one European country. After a lot of pressure Nestle ceased trade with Mugabe.

Ceidlihgirl Fri 17-Dec-10 20:57:34

Hang on a minute smile, now I feel pounced on. Lowercase, you seem to be making assumptions about my views and motivations. Perhaps this is my fault because I'm not that eloquent blush. I was clumsily trying to make 2 different points I think: one about debating styles on the internet and one about how a campaign is perceived by some. It struck me both were about persuasion.

By 'picking over' I was just referring to Tiktok's post of 8.49 on Fri where she picked out a series of quotes. I am sorry, this probably was not the best way to word it blush. As I said in response to that, I feel this style of posting on this topic is counterproductive. 'People like you' = people who debate in this way on threads like this about infant feeding. Sheesh, I seem to have been labelled by lowercase as someone attacking people who help people breastfeed just because I make what I intended as a generalised observation about how to not persuade people. I wasn't trying to be unfriendly smile.

Maybe, the BMA info is not primarily for mums. However, given the UK breastfeeding rates of course the majority of HCPs, politicians and civil servants who have kids are likely to have used formula, just like the majority of the UK population. So actually, if as a campaign group BMA want to gain widespread support then they do need to be able to reach out to people who have bottlefed. As some of the responses to this thread show, in some cases they already do this smile. By the way, I'm not talking about persuading people to feed their baby one way or another, I'm talking about trying to persuade people that, well, whatever BMA wants to persuade them through its campaigns. My understanding is that the purpose of any campaign is to change the status quo, which I would expect to mean winning hearts and minds at some level.

Maybe you are right and getting some people's backs up is unavoidable collateral damage of any campaign. It might be worth thinking about whether this really is the case, or whether the info could be conveyed differently, for example by separating more clearly the UK and international issues. It does seem a bit unfortunate that the people on MN who feel upset by discussions about BMA and the Nestle boycott are some of the ones BMA's campaign is intended to help sad. I do not mean by avoiding publicising the issues, nor abandoning the boycott.

tiktok Fri 17-Dec-10 17:19:25


lowercase Fri 17-Dec-10 16:44:33

'people like you' shock

tiktok has helped many, many people with her expertise, does not discriminate, and would even help you!

its not about bringing people to 'her side'
tiktok did not invent breastfeeding.

its about feeding infants in the best way we can, with the information we have at the time.

tiktok Fri 17-Dec-10 13:04:26

I actually don't expect people to adopt my viewpoint, but I do try to look for fair debate.

You have misunderstood the main aims of Baby Milk Action - the accurate information about infant feeding does not come from them (though they may link to info sheets, and highlight examples of poor information) but they campaign for the accurate info to come from governments, manufacturers, HCPs. They work internationally on these issues.

I am not sure what someone should do on a talkboard if someone comes onto a thread (as happened here) and talks about the topic adding to scaremongering and extremism. I decided to try to counter this. You describe it as being argumentative and 'picking over posts'.

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