Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Nestlé boycott, and why you should get involved.

This article originally appeared in Beat Motel #7 and has been republished a few times since. This article is copyright free, please redistribute.

Since the 1970s Nestlé has continued to market it’s baby formula in a sickeningly unethical way to third world countries. It has been proven again and again that using Nestlé baby formula instead of breast milk means the child doesn’t receive the essential immunity boosting hormones released by the mother and as a consequence is not protected against diseases that here in the west are usually nothing more than a minor inconvenience. It is estimated that around 1,300,000 babies die every year as a direct result of Nestlé’s marketing to mothers in underdeveloped countries, and that figure is from UNICEF!

As most mothers using the formula are very poor they mix up a very weak formula as a matter of course, meaning their babies don’t get anything like the nutrition they need. The fact that Nestlé baby formula has to be mixed with water is probably the greatest danger of all, especially as contaminated water is often used. The result is babies are being given diseased water causing them to get sick and die of diseases that they would be protected from if breast fed, and would not be exposed to if they were breast fed.

To put things into some sort of bizarre context, it is estimated that around 8 million people died in World War 1, since 1974 Nestlé have been responsible for the deaths of over 41 MILLION babies in developing countries. So what’s the response to this money driven manslaughter? Well not a lot really. Nestlé have some pretty tasty lawyers on retainers and anyone making these claims in the public arena will be silenced pretty quickly. The full horror of the marauding beast that is Nestlé doesn’t stop at infanticide, a quick search on Google will tell tales of the raping of natural resources, horrific treatment of slave labour staff and far more.

There is a very direct and wonderfully lazy way to fight this horror, just stop buying Nestlé products! However, this is more of a challenge than you might think.

Click here for a list of Nestlé products...


  1. the lawyers will be after you now!

  2. I was prompted to put this up when I saw an advert for some other milk substitute on TV last night (I don't have a telly and was in a hotel room) and the first 95% of the airtime was taken up telling mothers nothing beats breast milk. If someone advertising something in this country isn't allowed by law to say it's better than breast milk then that should give you an idea of how bad it is to advertise to third world mothers.

    What sickens me is what's at the heart of the matter, a company continuing to profiteer inspite of overwhelming scientifically evidence that their product is directly causing millions of deaths.

    Ford tried a similar tactic with the Ford Pinto, it had the habit of bursting into flames and killing the occupants. An official Ford document was eventually leaked showing that they had done a lot of cost/ benefit analysis work on fixing the defect and decided it was cheaper to keep paying compensation to families than it was to fix the defect.

  3. the ford example is referred to the latter point...
    "does this happen often?"
    "You wouldn't believe it"
    "What car company do you work for?"
    "a major one"