Talk

Advanced search

Why are formula co’s allowed to get away with this? Do we have to have another boycott?

(93 Posts)
Rumpledfaceskin Wed 07-Feb-18 18:17:30

Am I the only person who is increasingly angry about the way in which formula companies and those that sell formula conduct themselves? Yesterday I discovered a great charity called baby milk action and was horrified to read about how formula advertising in the U.K. is constantly breaking laws, then this

www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/01/nestle-under-fire-for-marketing-claims-on-baby-milk-formulas

Obviously I have a pro breastfeeding stance but however you chose to feed, most people surely agree that formula shouldn’t be advertised like this? Or as comparable to breastmilk, for hungry babies, and all the other shit they pull.

chequeplease Wed 07-Feb-18 19:34:03

You're not wrong to be angry, it's ridiculous.
And don't get me started on the lack of support provided for breastfeeding mothers.
The combination naturally results in more women feeling pushed into using formula.

Ylvamoon Wed 07-Feb-18 19:57:44

The article is interesting but it all just reads like a clever marketing gimmick to suit a particular country / customer.
As a multi-million company, they obviously only care about how best to sell their products....

43percentburnt Wed 07-Feb-18 20:03:20

And don't forget the promotions on maternity wards. Free access to formula when ever you want it. Brands on display. Pressure to give formula when there is no clinical reason and mother clearly producing colostrum and is happy/experienced at breastfeeding. Midwives and nurses telling women which formula is popular with mums.

Rumpledfaceskin Wed 07-Feb-18 20:06:11

Yes, that’s the problem. But what’s particularly worrying about this is that they’re actually adding different ingredients depending on which country they’re selling in, so how can anyone really trust what they’re being sold. Some of those ingredients have no health benefits and are actually detrimental to infant health. It’s just so blatantly immoral.

I read yesterday that Baby milk action conducted a study (in the U.K.)where they phoned formula co’s helplines for advice on how to make up formula and all of the major brands they tested gave unsafe advice. It just doesn’t seem that they abide by any laws/regulations and they get away with it because no one really takes them to task.

Rumpledfaceskin Wed 07-Feb-18 20:11:05

43percent. Yep. I was asked which brand of formula I would choose by a consultant for cup feeding my baby before she latched (due to being poorly) when I had about 1 litre of breastmilk pumped in the fridge! I assume health professionals in the U.K. aren’t targeted but I know in the US they target hpcs for training days, freebie gifts, desktop calendars etc. Just in case they miss the aggressive advertising.

eeanne Wed 07-Feb-18 20:14:31

“In Hong Kong, it promoted its baby milk powders as healthier – because they were free from vanilla flavourings – even as it sold other vanilla-flavoured formulas elsewhere in the territory.”

I was shouted down on MN for saying formulas are flavored and that I don’t trust a sweets company not to put in flavors that will make lifelong Nestle customers. Accused of being a conspiracy theorist. Guess I’m not so crazy!

43percentburnt Wed 07-Feb-18 20:15:50

I guess they get away with it because they make millions, Lobby governments and any damage caused cannot be proven even if anyone bothers investigating. The consumers are babies and it's a women's issue so low priority.

Government 'breast is best' is just rhetoric.

I have no issue with women choosing to formula feed, if it is their own informed decision. Not to make it easier for hospital staff or to line the pockets of CEOs and shareholders.

Rumpledfaceskin Wed 07-Feb-18 20:17:19

Eeanne no, you’re really not crazy.

43percentburnt Wed 07-Feb-18 20:20:15

My experience was in a breastfeeding friendly UNICEF accredited hospital. So it appears management are happy to get the accreditation but that's where the 'friendliness' ends.

candlefloozy Wed 07-Feb-18 20:21:36

Surely midwives and nurses have their own agenda anyway. So whatever they believe to be right they would promote? Unless they've had appropriate training.
The formula companies are just that - companies. They have money to make. Doesn't matter to them how they sell it, as long as they do

Rumpledfaceskin Wed 07-Feb-18 20:25:00

I guess they get away with it because they make millions, Lobby governments and any damage caused cannot be proven even if anyone bothers investigating. The consumers are babies and it's a women's issue so low priority.

I’ve never thought about it like that before. Of course they can get away with it when the consumer has literally no voice. Of course they can pedal ‘breast is best’ because they know they have a growing market ready and waiting. I’d never noticed how often formula ads refer to breastmilk until yesterday. It’s very easy for them to fool the consumer (or purchaser I should say) into thinking their products are comparable to breastmilk if they keep mentioning them in the same ad.

squeekums Wed 07-Feb-18 20:27:18

I actually dont have an issue with it.
Your not forced to buy it and a woman is free to feed anyway she chooses. In some cases it is better for baby. In mine it was
I would have much preferred to see nice advertising of formula over the smug, pushy bf posters splashed all over the hospital.
Id rather formula advertising than a hospital that refuses to even consider it as an option even though i had no milk come in and a screaming baby who was so hungry she couldnt settle. If i didnt have a friend to talk me through formula, id have been screwed when it came to buying some.

Where i am bf is pushed to the hills and your shamed and belittled by medical staff if you need or choose otherwise. Its bs and actually results in women lying to medical staff that they fully are bf just so they can leave hospital or not be picked on at a normal dr check up. Hell my hospital actually asked me if they could mark me down as fully bf for their stats (their words) even though by then my dp had bought in formula for dd and they knew full well i wasnt even bf at all

squeekums Wed 07-Feb-18 20:29:59

**43percentburnt
My experience was in a breastfeeding friendly UNICEF accredited hospital. So it appears management are happy to get the accreditation but that's where the 'friendliness' ends.**
Friendly in name only, thats for sure. Hell thats the reason my hospital asked if they could lie on my paperwork. Better for their accreditation as a breastfeeding friendly hospital to have all mothers appear as fully bf

Rumpledfaceskin Wed 07-Feb-18 20:35:38

Sqeekums you don’t have a problem with companies adding sugar and flavour to infant formula depending on what they think appeals in that particular market? Really I’m surprised. You can’t say that anyone buying those products is making an informed choice. There are a lot of unscrupulous methods they use in the U.K. too such as marketing hungry baby milk, night-time milk, its all total bollocks and has no basis in science. They are products thought up to exploit the market.

squeekums Wed 07-Feb-18 20:50:16

Rumpledfaceskin, if you only looking at an ingredient list its not good. Im looking as a whole.
Women have every right to know what feeding options are there, the ingredients list is on the tin, hell even on the websites
But reality is that ingredients list dont combat no milk, no desire to bf, latching issues. Formula has to be made palatable for babies and even then, have you tasted it, damn its bad

Id rather women feed how they feel best suits them. Id prefer women dont get left standing holding a hungry baby and be in the dark on formula

k2p2k2tog Wed 07-Feb-18 20:52:06

Have been boycotting Nestle for years. They're utterly shameless.

www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/01/nestle-under-fire-for-marketing-claims-on-baby-milk-formulas

Rumpledfaceskin Thu 08-Feb-18 07:58:58

Sqeekums I disagree. Surely the ingredients list is the key thing that meters if a baby can’t have breastmilk. It’s their sole source of nutrition. Their brains and bodies develop on it. It’s easy to think we have consumer choice and we do have more in the U.K. than many other places. We also have better education on what nutrition baby needs through the nhs. I have no idea what other formulas you can buy off the shelves in South Africa but I’m assuming if a leading brand is adding sugar to sell more formula then other competitors do too. I also doubt that women have the same acces to healthcare and education as we do in the U.K. Its tragic to see nestle haven’t moved on from this immoral behaviour in 50 years. Pushing substandard formula in countries they think they can get away with it, when it really has no place in poor or developing countries.

squeekums Thu 08-Feb-18 08:27:25

Rumpledfaceskin, while its not ideal its better than the baby refusing formula and getting nothing, some other random milk like carnation.
It needs some flavour so it will be drunk, sugar, vanilla does that
Also 3rd world countries a little sugar in formula is much better than the alternative, nothing, raw cow or goat milk, less than necessary breast milk

As i said, small picture its not so great, big picture, its really a small issue in grand scheme

TheWizardofWas Thu 08-Feb-18 08:52:08

The Changing Markets report mentioned in the article is shocking. I came across it at this weird and intriguing art exhibition on milk at Grand Union in Birmingham. There is a book you can read there or buy, Deeper in the Pyramid, and, drawing on that recent Changing Markets report, it talks about the prestige of Western brands in Vietnam and other places where families spend nearly all their wages on formula because of the advertisers claims that it will make their children more intelligent and successful in life.

Rumpledfaceskin Thu 08-Feb-18 09:08:56

Squeekums but it doesn’t need to be there at all. If babies in the U.K. and Korea can drink formula without sucrose so can babies in South Africa? It’s not a small issue at all.

Rumpledfaceskin Thu 08-Feb-18 09:10:10

Thewizard that sounds interesting. I really thought they weren’t allowed to advertise like that now but I guess it totally depends on individual countries laws?

TittyGolightly Thu 08-Feb-18 09:12:06

YANBU. I’ve been boycotting Nestle and all of their subsidiaries for about 20 years because of it.

SoupDragon Thu 08-Feb-18 09:19:51

Id prefer women dont get left standing holding a hungry baby and be in the dark on formula

Advertising from formula companies will not educate women on formula feeding. It will sell them the product.

You will never get unbiased information from someone who wants to sell you their product. The answer is brand-free, not for profit formula but (literally) where is the money in that?

I would have much preferred to see nice advertising of formula over the smug, pushy bf posters splashed all over the hospital.

Funny how you prefer the advertising of someone who is purely out to make money from you but label the advertising of a free product “smug” and “pushy”

Rumpledfaceskin Thu 08-Feb-18 14:48:17

It’s amazng how many people are duped by formula advertising. Even women in the U.K. who think they have free consumer choices are being royally ripped off and given downright dangerous advice over the phone on how to prepare formula. ‘40 years of breastmilk reaserch, closer to breast milk than ever’ all of that crap leads people to equate formula and breastmilk and it’s a view I’ve seen pedalled out time and time again on MN. It’s also breaking the law and it winds me up like crazy!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: