Friday, July 20, 2007

Evil Nestle

A new marketing tactic by Nestle for its new formula that has added probiotics (bacteria). Nestle has mailed health care providers in the US an advertising brochure on their new formula whic contains Bifidobacterium lacti.. It includes instructions on reconstituting the powdered formula with an emphaisis on making sure that the water is not above 100 degrees Farenheit, in order to keep the bacteria active. These directions are a contradiction to the WHO guidelines that state water should be boiled and then cooled to 70C-90C and added to the powder . This is a recommended temperature in order to kill off pathogens that may be in the powder such as Enterobacter sakazakii. Nestle also neglects to say that powdered formula should not be fed to any baby under 4 weeks of age, but thats not surprising, Nestle has never cared if babies get sick or god forbid die due to formula use. In addition, Nestle is also trying to solicit radio stations in the US, offering an interview with a pediatrician called, "Do You Feel Fearful of Formula Feeding? Don't be scared, say experts!" The interview promises new information on formula, and in a passive aggressive fashion insults and tries to give a negative connotation to breastfeeding by listing the "benefits" of anyone being able to feed the baby, not having to pump or schedule work and activities around the baby's feeding schedule, and not having to feed the baby so frequently. The interview then will look at the new "miracle bacteria" that has been added to Nestle's formula. The interview has been scheduled for August 1, the first day of World Breastfeeding Week in the US.

If any radio stations bite on the offer of this pathetic interview, the general public will be receiving a biased and potentially dangerous look at infant formula. Breastfeeding advocates may wish to be on the lookout for this interview that is scheduled to air between 6:00am and 10:00am on August 1. If any of your local radio stations air this, I encourage you to call in and provide evidence-based information, especially on the improper reconstitution instructions that have lead to deaths in babies as well as the suggested implication of breastfeeding being inconvenient. It really is amazing though how Nestle timed it, most breastfeeding advocates will be at some type of World Breastfeeding Week function, so while the cats away the Dirty Underhanded Nestle will play. I wonder if Nestle has started to work on their new baby cigarette to help baby relax? Who needs colic drops??? Who needs teething tablets, light up a Nestleboro light and baby is happy as can be!

Bowen AB, Braden CR. Invasive Enterobacter sakazakii disease in infants. Emerg Infect Dis 2006; 12(8):1185-1189

WHO/FAO. Safe preparation, storage and handling of powdered infant formula: guidelines.

See also NABA's new publication "Still Selling Out Mothers and Babies"